Selling Travel July/August 19

online.magazines

JULY/AUGUST 2019 • sellingtravel.co.uk

TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2018

CANARY ISLANDS • THE ALGARVE & MADEIRA • BALEARIC ISLANDS • MAINLAND SPAIN

CROATIA & MONTENEGRO • GREECE • CYPRUS • TURKEY • ITALY • MALTA & GOZO

WELCOME TO

INDULGENT

ESCAPES

BOOK FOR ONLY

£60

DEPOSIT

PER PERSON

*

COMPLIMENTARY

IN-FLIGHT DRINKS

LUXURY

5 STAR HOTELS

25KG BAGGAGE

ALLOWANCE

PRIVATE TRANSFERS

INCLUDED

COMPLIMENTARY

LUXURY GIFT

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


JULY/AUGUST 2019 • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK

TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2018

DESERT

ISLAND

MIX

Why a cruise offers the perfect

introduction to the countries of

the Caribbean

how to sell...

Mediterranean

South Africa

Middle East

California

Canada

Namibia

Be inspired

TOURING

HOLIDAYS

Page 83

and more...


THE WORLD'S

ONLY

Luxury Included ®

HONEYMOON

Sandals offers all the luxuries of a 5-star

resort with so much more, because here,

the best of everything is included. Every

land and water sport. Exclusive 5-Star

Global Gourmet dining at up to 16

restaurants per resort, and endless pours

of premium spirits and Robert Mondavi

Twin Oaks wines. Our resorts are set on

the Caribbean’s best beaches, and our

rooms & suites are some of the most

romantic in the world. These are just some

of the reasons Sandals has been voted

the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Resorts

23 years in a row, and the perfect choice

for your clients' dream honeymoon.

2 0 1 8

23 Years Running

VOTED THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS (22)

23

YEARS IN A ROW AT THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS

LUXURY INCLUDED ®

Sandals has the grandest

of pools, most spectacular

beaches, extraordinary

amenities, and sumptuously

appointed accommodation.

But it’s the unrivaled 5-star

service provided by our staff

that keeps our guests coming

back time after time.

THE MOST

EXCLUSIVE SUITES

Our 5-star accommodation,

called Love Nest Butler Suites ® ,

are ranked among the finest

and most romantic in the world.

From Over-the-Water Villas to

Millionaire Suites, our guests

will enjoy luxurious amenities,

private plunge pools and

world-class concierge

and butler service.

MASTERS OF EXCELLENCE

IN THE CULINARY ARTS

16

GOURMET

PER RESORT. ALL INCLUDED.

ALL UNLIMITED.

UP TO

RESTAURANTS

Guests will enjoy unlimited dining at up to

16 restaurants! From freshly rolled sushi

at Soy, to Filet Mignon steak cooked to

perfection at Butch’s Chophouse, we

serve cuisine to please even the toughest

foodie! Your clients will enjoy unlimited

premium brand drinks at up to 11 bars per

resort. From cocktails at the swim-up

pool bar to a glass of fizz on a

rooftop bar overlooking

the Caribbean sunset,

it’s all included in the

price of your clients'

honeymoon.

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

TO BOOK CALL 0808 164 3459

VISIT SANDALS.CO.UK/AGENTS

*Mandatory caddies or carts at cost. ^Cost includes two free dives

per day for certified divers . Additional T&Cs may apply.

MORE QUALITY LAND & WATER SPORTS

THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS IN THE CARIBBEAN

From championship golf* to motorised water sports like waterskiing and scuba

diving^, only Sandals includes more quality land and water sports than any other

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


contents 3

this issue

WE TRAVEL FURTHER TO BRING YOU MORE

FEATURES

08 Cruising the

Caribbean: Perfect for

Island hopping

32 The Mediterranean:

A people pleaser

39 Middle East: How to

switch-sell to it now

78 South Africa: Slow

down on the Blue Train

76

57

53

36

08

32

71

39

30

QUICK READS

11 Profile: Namibia

30 48 hours in: Bangkok

36 My Journey: St Vincent

& the Grenadines

71 Introducing: Ethiopia

72 How to sell: New South

Wales

76 My Journey: California

TALKING SHOP

13 Agent news and views

11

78

72

CANADA

48 Show report: Rendezvous

2019

52 Travel talk: Destination

Canada

53 City profile:Toronto

54 My Trip in: Ontario

57 Spotlight on: Alberta

THE REVIEW

61 News & show reports

TOURING

84 Trends in touring

89 Touring four ways

91 Interview: Shearings

94 Fresh touring ideas

97 Take five: Off-thebeaten-track

tours

TOURING

83

NAMIBIA

11

MIDDLE EAST

39

SOUTH AFRICA

78

MED HOLIDAYS

32

Please note that Selling Travel, owned and

published by BMI Publishing Ltd., is not

connected in any way to Selling Travel

e-magazine published by SMP Training Co.

and based in British Columbia, Canada. The

latter online publication focuses exclusively on

sales skills and all aspects of professional

selling within the travel and tourism sectors.

To benefit from this travel industry sales

training resource visit sellingtravel.net

ALBERTA

57

sellingtravel.co.uk


4

welcome

A Greek tragedy

WINNER

TRADE PUBLICATION OF

THE YEAR – PRINT & ONLINE

(almost)

EDITORIAL

EDITOR

Laura Gelder

laura.gelder@sellingtravel.co.uk

JOURNALISTS

Jessica Pook, Sasha Wood

& April Waterston

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS:

Andy Hoskins & Julie Baxter

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge

SALES

PUBLISHERS

Steve Thompson

steven.thompson@sellingtravel.co.uk

Sally Parker

sally.parker@sellingtravel.co.uk

ADVERTISING MANAGER

Lisa Merrigan

lisa.merrigan@sellingtravel.co.uk

DESIGN & PRODUCTION

SENIOR DESIGNER

Louisa Horton

DESIGNERS

Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis

& Zoe Tarrant

PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER

Clare Hunter

Laura Gelder

EDITOR

Last week, as I lay on my sunbed on the beautiful Greek

island of Kefalonia, I realised I had became a traveller

cliché in more ways than one.

First of all I was one of many, many people reading a dogeared

copy of Captain Correlli's Mandolin. Secondly, I was not

only British but also horribly sun-burnt thanks to my new

eco-friendly, but useless, sun screen. And thirdly, I'd consulted

Google on what was the loveliest beach.

Consequentially I was sharing it with hundreds of other

clichés, booming Ibiza-style beats and several thousand wasps,

buzzing amidst the packed and baking bodies - it may have

been lovely once, but not now!

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

white pebbles and clear lapping water but less stinging insects and a gentler soundtrack

of Greek music wafting out of the taverna along with the smell of roasting souvlaki.

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

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

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

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

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

itineraries to switching clients to travel in low season.

As well as writing her column for us, Sandy Murray ran the 22nd Yorkshire Travel Ball

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

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

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

closer to my heart since I Ieft three kittens behind in Kefalonia.

PRODUCTION ADMINISTRATOR

Steve Hunter

BMI PUBLISHING

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner

CEO

Martin Steady

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

SELLING TRAVEL IS PUBLISHED BY BMI PUBLISHING

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SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233

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BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK

WE ARE MEMBERS OF THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM

ORGANIZATION, VISIT USA ASSOCIATION, LATA, PATA,

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Recycled certified and Carbon Balanced.

sellingtravel.co.uk


Britain’s leading independent cruise line presents

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5143 Selling Travel 136x190.indd 1 10/07/2019 14:04


the big picture 7

Sri Lanka

back in business

All aboard

We wouldn’t usually feature the same

destination twice in one year here,

but Sri Lanka has been through a lot.

The Easter terror attacks derailed

tourism but since the FCO ban was

lifted the travel trade has rallied

round to help bookings recover

quickly – with or without government

help. Visitor numbers are already

increasing, from 37,802 in May to

63,072 in June, so the comeback is

firmly on track. See p51 for details.

srilanka.travel; lovesrilanka.org

sellingtravel.co.uk


8

xxxxx cruising the caribbean

island

Hopping

The Caribbean’s many islands present the perfect canvas for

a cruise and the chance to really appreciate its diversity by

taking in several destinations on one trip, says Jane Archer

carlos ojeda photography

I’ve just realised the plane I’ve

seen in the distance is landing

in Canouan, the little Grenadine

island we were anchored off yesterday.

Clearly we didn’t cruise very far

overnight.

I’m on SeaDream Yacht Club’s

112-passenger SeaDream I, on a Caribbean

cruise with a difference. Since setting sail

from Barbados, we’ve anchored off every

island we’ve visited (Martinique, St Lucia,

Bequia, Canouan and today Union Island),

not seen any other ships and bumped into

just a handful of tourists.

It’s a perfect way to enjoy the ‘other’

Caribbean, the one away from the crowds,

where life is unhurried and simple

pleasures such as swimming, snorkelling

or reading a book fill the days. I’ve visited

a turtle sanctuary in Bequia, put the world

to rights with Rastafarian Ezra at his beach

bar in Canouan and hiked up to a fort on

St Lucia’s Pigeon Island.

On board I’ve tucked into some of

the tastiest food afloat and passed fun

evenings at the al-fresco top-of-the-yacht

bar. Because there are so few of us,

waiters and bar staff soon got to know our

names, likes and dislikes.

Whenever they see me, they veer off

and return with a glass of Champagne.

Extravagant? Not really. As with all drinks

on SeaDream, it is included in the fare, as

are tips. It pushes up the price, but makes

things super friendly – and with just 112 of

us on board, that is important.

Market update

One of the things that makes Caribbean

cruises such an easy sell for agents is

that there is a holiday for everyone. If the

small ship, getaway-from-it-all experience

does not appeal, clients have plenty more

vessels and itineraries to choose from.

Families can sail with Royal Caribbean

International on the world’s biggest cruise

ships or race go-karts on Norwegian Cruise

Line vessels; there are ultra-luxury ships

and sailing vessels, even cruises from the

UK with P&O Cruises, Saga Cruises and

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for those who

don’t want to fly.

There are budget fares or all-inclusive

prices with Regent Seven Seas Cruises;

one or two-week voyages, port-intensive

sellingtravel.co.uk


Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

Ritz-Carlton makes its cruising debut

in February with the yacht-like Azora.

It holds 298 passengers and sails from

Fort Lauderdale to Barbados, Aruba, St.

Maarten and St Lucia.

Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first new

ship, launches in April 2020. An adults-only

vessel, it will offer five-night sailings to

Mexico and four-night short breaks to Key

West and Bimini in the Bahamas, roundtrip

from Miami.

Itineraries: Carnival Cruise Line has new

seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral to

Mexico, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos,

starting October 2020 on Mardi Gras, a

new ship launching in August next year.

From £624pp cruise-only.

Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the

Seas is sailing new five-night cruises

from Fort Lauderdale to CocoCay, the

company’s just-opened Bahamian private

island, from May to November 2020. From

£619pp cruise-only.

Celebrity Cruises has a new sevencruising

the caribbean xxxx xxxx 9

itineraries and cruises with multiple sea

days for those who love life at sea.

The Caribbean is a perennial favourite

with British cruisers, attracting some

295,000 passengers in 2018 – 7% more

than 2017. “Thanks to the mix of fabulous

destinations and cultures, breathtaking

scenery and the opportunity to see a

different island every day, it’s a fantastic

cruise destination,” said CLIA UK and

Ireland Director Andy Harmer.

CLIA Chair Tony Roberts told the

association’s Southampton conference in

May that the cruise market is down due to

the uncertainty of Brexit.

However, Roberts, who is also Princess

Cruises’ UK & Ireland Vice-President, added

that the Caribbean remains one of his

company’s ‘fastest-growing destinations’.

“It’s always a popular cruise destination

… because of the range of itineraries

that encompass so many of the islands

as well as the guarantee of white sandy

beaches, plenty of sunshine and the warm

Caribbean sea.”

Silversea UK Managing Director Peter

Shanks said the Caribbean will always

do well due to its ‘unique mixture of

relaxation and culture’.

He said: “A cruise is the best way to see

the Caribbean, visiting both famous and

‘out of the way’ islands.” As an added

incentive, Silversea is offering free shore

excursions on selected cruises booked by

July 31 2019.

Shanks added: “Silversea’s smaller ships

access more of those ‘out of the way’

places and travel deeper to experience the

very best of the Caribbean.”

What’s new

Ships: Norwegian Cruise Line’s new

Norwegian Encore, launching November

2019, makes its Caribbean debut this

winter with a go-kart circuit and Italian

restaurant called Onda.

Sky Princess enters service for Princess

Cruises this autumn with new features

including French restaurant La Mer and

Sky Suites. It will spend the winter sailing

sellingtravel.co.uk


msc rights

10

xxxxx cruising the caribbean

combine cruising and a private island stay with msc

royal owned

snorkelling in cozumel, the mexican caribbean

danny lehman

Royal Caribbean’s flowrider

norwegian breakaway

Royal Caribbean in labadee, haiti

night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip

from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Edge

that visits Puerto Rico, the British Virgin

Islands and St. Maarten. From £1,269pp

cruise-only.

Shore excursions: MSC Cruises has

partnered with US lifestyle guru Martha

Stewart to offer celebrity-branded tours

in the Caribbean such as cooking classes,

garden visits and market trips.

Starting this winter, clients on Marella

Cruises’ seven-night Pride of Panama

voyage can take a tour from Santa Marta

in Columbia into the foothills of the

Sierra Nevada to meet and dine with the

country’s indigenous Kogi tribe.

Top experiences

Discover what’s cooking: Celebrity

Cruises’ five-hour chef-led tour from

Philipsburg, St. Maarten takes visitors to

fish and produce markets to pick up

ingredients for an exclusive dinner on the

ship, as well as tasting French specialities

at La Plantation Hotel. From £245pp.

Life balance: A four-hour tour from

Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas with

Crystal Cruises includes paddle-boarding,

yoga and snorkelling in search of stingrays

in a mangrove lagoon and marine reserve.

Price not yet set.

Climbing Dunn’s River Falls: The

Jamaican icon is one of Caribbean’s

most sought-after experiences. The

boulders are slippery, the water is gushing

and you certainly get wet, wet, wet. Most

lines go there. Carnival’s six-hour tour

from Ocho Rios, pairing the falls with a

jeep safari, costs from $108pp.

Snuba at Pigeon Island: The St.

Lucia spot is a favourite for snuba

diving, a cross between snorkelling and

scuba that allows beginners to dive to 20

feet without struggling with tanks as they

follow on a raft on the surface. Oceania

Cruises’ three-hour snuba adventure costs

from £77pp.

Where to book it

Seabourn – 0344 338 8615

For 14 nights of all-inclusive luxury the

Classic Caribbean Yacht Harbours cruise

round-trip from Barbados departs January

4, 2020. Fares from £5,298pp for cruiseonly

but including all meals, drinks and

staff gratuities.

seabourn.com

MSC Cruises – 0203 426 3000

Tick off six islands in one trip and enjoy

two days on MSC’s new Ocean Cay private

island with the cruise line’s 14-night

Southern Caribbean cruise, round-trip

from Miami, departing January 11, 2020.

Fares are from £1,449pp, cruise-only but

including all meals.

mscbook.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


country profile

11

Namibia

What Namibia lacks in tourist numbers it makes up for in wow factors such as giant

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

Don’t miss...

Soussusvlei

A photographer’s dream,

the national park here has

spectacular dunes whipped

into pleasing shapes by

the wind, some footed by

dramatically twisted and

desiccated trees. Climb the

most accessible dunes at

dawn for knockout views.

Etosha

A safari in a shimmering

saltpan makes for great

game viewing. Elephant,

giraffe, springbok and zebra

are common, along with

ostriches and birds of prey,

while it’s possible to see

cheetah and leopards. It’s an

easy place to self-drive, best

visited July to October.

Damaraland

Amid the rugged scenery of

Southern Damarkand see

UNESCO-listed Bushman

rock art thousands of years

old at Twyfelfontein. Take

a game drive to search

for the desert-adapted

elephants seen in David

Attenborough’s Planet Earth.

Swakopmund

Germanic-style coastal

base Swakopmund offers

activities like sand-surfing

and paragliding. The huge

seal colony at Cape Cross is

a half-day trip away. Sleepy

neighbour Walvis Bay is the

gateway to prolific birdlife

hangout Sandwich Harbour.

BOOK IT WITH... KUONI

Kuoni’s Namibia Explorer is a 14-night small

group tour, taking in Etosha National Park,

Damaraland, Swakopmund, Soussevlei

and Windhoek. A special offer of £3,898pp

applies to the October 26 2019 departure.

The operator also offers Namibia self-drives.

agents.kuoni.co.uk

It’s only as I turn to make a 360° video

at the top of ‘Big Daddy’ dune that the

height hits me. I giddily sink to the sand

to take a breather. The view is nothing

short of spectacular. In every direction

are ripples of golden and reddish

dunes, dramatic in the light and shade

of dawn.

In Dead Vlei, an arid valley far below me,

I know the moving dots I see are people

photographing the stark skeletons of

antique trees that were left behind when a

river changed course. This is Soussusvlei,

long on my travel wish list, and it has

managed to exceed my high expectations.

Namibia may not receive the high tourist

numbers of some of its neighbours, but it’s

not for lack of any wow factor.

Epic dune-filled Soussusvlei, within

Namib-Naukluft National Park, is just

one of the attractions. The country also

has renowned safaris on the salt pan of

Etosha National Park, while the coastline,

with its own wildlife, makes a pleasant

respite from the desert. There’s also tribal

heritage in the Damarland region.

Namibia is generally best visited May

to October. Common advice is to avoid

January, but early that month I found

temperatures manageable and just

handfuls of people at the key sights.

In fact, with a low population and less

advanced tourism, Namibia’s hotspots are

quieter than South Africa’s at any time of

year. With the Namibian dollar pegged to

its neighbour’s weak rand, it’s also a goodvalue

destination, while a time difference

of just two hours means no jetlag.

SELF DRIVE IS EASY IN NAMIBIA

A YOUNG HIMBA WOMAN

NEW LODGES

Namibia has accommodation to suit

many budgets. At the luxury end, new last

year were Omaanda, a lodge on a private

reserve near Windhoek; eight-room

Shipwreck Lodge, on the Skeleton Coast;

and its sister, Hoanib Valley Camp, with

six tented rooms, in the North West. This

year retro-themed Sonop has debuted

at Karas in the southern Namib Desert.

ACCESS OPTIONS

Access is indirect from the UK. Look out

for competitive fares via Frankfurt but

it’s an attractive twin with Cape Town.

Most fly in and out of the low-key capital,

Windhoek, but limited international

services to coastal Walvis Bay offer

an attractive open jaw option.

With low crime and just a few straight

roads traversing the country, Namibia is

an easy place to self-drive and appeals to

independent travellers.Those headed for

Soussevlei should expect rough surfaces.

Escorted tours are offered by operators

including Travel 2, Kuoni, Abercrombie &

Kent, G Adventures, Intrepid and Exodus.

ITINERARIES

Typical itineraries of two weeks or less

take in Etosha, Soussevlei, Damaraland

and the coast. Those with more time can

reach Fish River Canyon in the South -

Africa’s deepest - plus the eerie Skeleton

Coast, so named for its shipwrecks

caused by rocks and fog before GPS.

sellingtravel.co.uk


DIFFERENT COLOURS,

SAME FEEL

Fly direct twice daily London to Bangkok with

the combined, bigger network of THAI and Thai Smile.

Enjoy smooth as silk service levels,

all priviledges and more destinations.

#FlySmootherWithOurSmiles

thaiairways.com

thaismileair.com


Talking Shop

INSPIRED BY YOU

The inside track on travel

Find out what

agents learnt from our

River Cruise Dialogue on

page 18

This time it's

personal

THIS year's Selling Travel

Agents Choice Awards sees

several new categories but

it's worth giving a special

mention to the new trade

rep award. Make sure

you take the time to vote

for that helpful person

who makes your job

easier. We are giving

away an award for the

best reps working for a tour

operator, airline, cruise line, hotel and tourist office. Turn

over to find out more about this years' awards...

Save £800 with APT charter

APT is offering an £800pp saving for new

bookings on its Majestic Danube Luxury River

Cruise when booked by August 31, 2019. APT

will charter the AmaMagna on June 14, 2020

for the one-off summer departure, sailing from Romania to

Germany. aptouring.co.uk

Contents

27

ON LOCATION

29

Park passes

with JA Resorts

DISNEY

October 7, 8 & 9

SELLING TRAVEL AGENTS CHOICE AWARDS EVENTS

Come and meet your Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards finalists at

our networking events in London (October 7), Leeds (October

8) and Manchester (October 5) and be in with a chance to win

some fantastic prizes. Register online at sellingtravel.co.uk

KIDS aged three to 16

years can enjoy various

Dubai Parks free when

agents book a stay at

a JA Resorts & Hotels

property before August 31.

jaresortshotels.com

IN THE OFFICE

FOUR-SIGHT

24

sellingtravel.co.uk


14

The 2019

awards

finalists

Airlines & Airports

AIRLINE TO THE FAR EAST:

Cathay Pacific , Japan Airlines,

Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways,

Vietnam Airlines

AIRLINE TO NORTH AMERICA: Air Canada,

British Airways , Delta Air Lines, United

Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

AIRLINE TO LATIN AMERICA & THE

CARIBBEAN: Air Europa Lineas Aereas,

British Airways, LATAM Airlines, Norwegian,

Virgin Atlantic

AIRLINE TO THE MIDDLE EAST: Emirates,

Etihad Airways , Gulf Air, Oman Air,

Qatar Airways

AIRLINE TO INDIA & THE INDIAN OCEAN:

Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Etihad

Airways, Qatar Airways

AIRLINE TO EUROPE: Air Malta,

British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Croatia Airlines

AIRLINE TO AFRICA: Royal Air Maroc,

Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways,

South African Airways, Tunisair

AIRLINE TO AUSTRALASIA & THE PACIFIC:

Air New Zealand , Fiji Airways, Korean Air,

Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways

AIRLINE FOR BUSINESS CLASS:

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad Airways,

Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines,

Qatar Airways

AIRLINE FOR PREMIUM CLASS:

Air New Zealand, British Airways, China

Southern Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic

AIRLINE FOR ECONOMY CLASS:

El AL Israel Airlines, EVA Air, South African

Airways, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines

OVERSEAS REGIONAL AIRLINE:

Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Fiji Airways,

Westjet Airlines, Virgin Australia

OVERSEAS AIRPORT: Amsterdam Schiphol,

DFW Airport , Dubai International Airport,

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International

Airport, Singapore Changi

UK AIRPORT: East Midlands , Liverpool John

Lennon Airport, London City Airport, London

Gatwick, Manchester

Destinations

CITY BREAK: Abu Dhabi, Hong

Kong, Lisbon, Macao, Tel Aviv

DESTINATION FOR BEACH – LONG HAUL:

Bali, Cook Islands, Mauritius, Philippines,

St Lucia

DESTINATION FOR BEACH – SHORT HAUL:

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jersey

DESTINATION FOR WILDLIFE & NATURE:

Belize, Botswana, Costa Rica, Peru,

South Africa

DESTINATION FOR SOFT ADVENTURE:

Australia, Canada, Chile, Namibia,

New Zealand

DESTINATION FOR SPA & WELLNESS:

Dubai, India, Malta, Maldives, Thailand

DESTINATION FOR WEDDINGS &

HONEYMOONS: Barbados, Cyprus, Jamaica,

Mauritius, St. Kitts

DESTINATION FOR ECO FRIENDLY

HOLIDAYS: Australia, Costa Rica, Kenya,

Nicaragua, Norway

sellingtravel.co.uk


15

FAVOURITE TRAINING EVENT/

ROADSHOW: Caribbean Tourism

Organization, The Amazing Thailand

Roadshow, Visit New South Wales, Visit

Orlando, Visit USA

Tour Operators

TOUR OPERATOR TO AFRICA:

Africa Pride, Cosmos, Gambia

Experience, Kuoni, Somak Holidays

TOUR OPERATOR TO AUSTRALASIA & THE

FAR EAST: APT, Collette,

G Adventures, Jetset Holidays,

Premier Holidays

TOUR OPERATOR TO EUROPE & NORTH

AFRICA: Balkan Holidays, Inghams, Jet2

Holidays, Shearings, Titan Travel

TOUR OPERATOR TO INDIA & THE INDIAN

OCEAN: If Only, Explore, Osborne & Ebel,

Premier Holidays, Travelpack

TOUR OPERATOR TO LATIN AMERICA &

THE CARIBBEAN: Cox & Kings,

G Adventures, Journey Latin America, Latin

Routes, Wendy Wu Tours

TOUR OPERATOR TO THE MIDDLE EAST:

Emirates Holidays, Gold Medal, If Only,

Mercury Holidays, Travel 2

TOUR OPERATOR TO NORTH AMERICA:

Cosmos, Funway Holidays , North America

Travel Service , Premier Holidays, USAirtours

FOR LONG HAUL ESCORTED TOURS:

Cosmos, G Adventures, Riviera Travel,

Titan Travel, Wendy Wu Tours

FOR SHORT HAUL ESCORTED TOURS:

Newmarket Holidays , Riviera Travel, Scenic

Cruises & Tours, Saga Holidays, Shearings

FOR SENIOR TRAVELLERS: Fred. Olsen

Cruise Lines, Leger Holidays, Inghams,

Saga Holidays, Shearings

FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS: G Adventures,

Just You, Saga Holidays, Trafalgar Holidays,

Titan Travel

Cruising

OCEAN CRUISING – SHORT

HAUL: Cruise & Maritime

Voyages, Hurtigruten, Fred.Olsen Cruise

Lines, MSC Cruises, Saga Holidays

OCEAN CRUISING - LONG HAUL:

Cunard Line , Celebrity Cruises, Princess

Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea

RIVER CRUISING - SHORT HAUL: A-ROSA,

CroisiEurope, Riviera Travel, Fred.Olsen

Cruise Lines, Newmarket Holidays

RIVER CRUISING – LONG HAUL:

Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises, Scenic

Cruises & Tours, Titan Travel, Uniworld

Boutique River Cruise Collection

Hotels

HOTEL/GROUP IN AFRICA:

Accor Hotels, Hilton, Protea

Hotels, Sun International, Taj Hotels

HOTEL/GROUP IN AUSTRALASIA & THE

FAR EAST: Dusit Hotels & Resorts,

Centara Hotels & Resorts , Hyatt Hotels &

Resorts, Meritus Hotels & Resorts,

Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts

HOTEL/GROUP IN EUROPE & NORTH

AFRICA: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Iberostar

Hotels & Resorts , Movenpick Hotels &

Resorts, Maritim Hotels , NH Hotel Group

HOTEL/GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA:

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels &

Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants,

Marriott International, Wyndham Hotel

Group

HOTEL/GROUP IN LATIN AMERICA & THE

CARIBBEAN: AM Resorts, Belmond, Elegant

Hotels, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Sandals

HOTEL/GROUP IN INDIA & THE INDIAN

OCEAN: Attitude Hotels, Beachcomber,

Fairmont Hotels, Lux Hotels, Sun Resorts

HOTEL/GROUP IN THE MIDDLE EAST:

Atlantis, Dukes Dubai, JA Jebel Ali Beach

Resort, Ritz Carlton, W Hotels

HOTEL/GROUP ALL-INCLUSIVE:

AM Resorts, Club Med , Hard Rock Hotels,

bodyholiday Saint Lucia , Sandals

Best of the Rest

TICKET PROVIDER: Attraction

World, Do Something Different,

Holiday Extras , Super Break

RAIL: Belmond, Blue Train, Eurostar,

Great Rail Journeys , Rocky Mountaineer

CAR HIRE: Avis Budget Group, Affordable

Car Hire, Alamo, Flexible Autos, Your

Car Hire

UK HOLIDAYS: Butlins, Hoseasons,

Shearings, Super Break, Warner Leisure

Hotels

Congratulations

to all our awards

finalists!

sellingtravel.co.uk


16

Once you've

voted for the best

in the business, it's

time to meet

them face to face!

• Amazing prizes •

The Selling Travel Agents Choice

Awards networking parties are

back! And this year we're crossing

the country to get to you.

Join us in: London (October 7)

Leeds (October 8) and

Manchester (October 9)

and put yourself in the frame to

win a fantastic prize.

Meet with tour operators, hotels

and resorts, airlines and airports,

cruising representatives and

more, all in one fun-filled evening.

Best of all, every supplier present

is giving away at least one

prize - that's a lot of prizes!

Sign up now at:

sellingtravel.co.uk/events

MANCHESTER

OCTOBER 9

LONDON

OCTOBER 7

LEEDS

OCTOBER 8

Our prize giveaway!

There's never been an easier way to win! Vote for your

favourites in the Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards and

you could be rewarded with a stay at a new five-star

property, a food tour for two or some must-have travel

goodies. Here's what's on offer so far...

A stay at Ness Walk,

Scotland

Experience luxurious Scottish living

with a one-night stay in the new fivestar

Ness Walk hotel in Inverness.

Guests will enjoy Champagne and

canapes on arrival, a fine

dining experience at

Torrish restaurant and a

complimentary breakfast.

nesswalk.com

A stay at Reef Villa &

Spa, Sri Lanka

Reef Villa & Spa is giving away a stay

at its peaceful retreat spread over

three acres of tropical gardens.

Guests can enjoy the private

beachfront, yoga lessons in the

grounds or herbal salt scrubs at the

Reefresh Spa. reefvilla.com

DEADLINE FOR VOTING: OCTOBER 11

Two food tour tickets

with Eating Europe

Treat your tastebuds with two

tickets for a food tour with Eating

Europe (worth around £180).

You can choose from locations

including Rome, Florence, London,

Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Lisbon,

Naples, and Strasbourg.

eatingeurope.com

Travel essentials from

Destination NSW

Win a Vivid Sydney iPad case,

featuring an image of the festival

of light which takes place in Sydney

from the end of May to mid-June

each year. Plus, style it out on holiday

with a lightweight Sydney-themed

beach towel - the ultimate Aussie

accessory. visitnswcom

sellingtravel.co.uk


Who stands out

from the crowd?

NEW FOR 2019:

Nominate your

best TRADE REP

This new category in the 2019

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards

will recognise the very important

role of trade reps. We want you to

nominate those people that support

you most and go the extra mile to

help you sell more travel.

You can nominate just one of

your favourite trade reps or a

different rep in each of the sub

categories which recognise those

representing airlines, cruise lines,

hotels & resorts, tour operators

and tourist offices

Visit sellingtravel.co.uk/awards/

tradereps

Trade Rep


18

River cruise

Dialogue

The

event

The event

WHAT: Selling Travel River

Cruise Dialogue

WHERE: London & Manchester

WHEN: July 9 & July 10

WHY: River cruising is a

fast-growing sector, so we

brought together top operators

– A-ROSA, CrosiEurope, Fred.

Olsen, Leger Holidays, Pandaw,

Sanctuary Retreats, Scenic,

Shearings and Titan – to talk

about their products and give

away some fantastic prizes.

“CLIENTS MAY FEEL

SAFER AS THEY CAN

ALWAYS SEE LAND,

WHICH CAN BE

COMFORTING”

Sanctuary Retreats

Did you know?

Shearings offers door-to-door

service on its river cruises

CroisiEurope is the only operator

to cruise the Loire Valley in France

Pandaw’s ultra-shallow

vessel makes for great soft

adventure river cruising”

Children under 15 travel free on all

A-ROSA river cruises and most

offer free kids’ clubs

Fred.Olsen offers FAMS and

agent concessions as well as online

training modules

Leger

offers 15-50% agent

discounts on cruises, and, where

possible, the chance for agents to

experience the product

Scenic’s Space Ship fleet features

electronic beds and Vitality Pools,

also every passenger has a butler

service included

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

sellingtravel.co.uk


River cruise

Dialogue

19

How to sell...

CrosiEurope

“Learn your rivers so that you can

cater to your client. For example,

Douro cruises are very scenic and

rural whereas Rhine cruises stop at

multiple cities”

A-ROSA

“Sell it like a city break where you

get to see multiple cities but only

have to unpack once”

Titan

“It’s a completely different market

to ocean cruising. River cruisers

go for the range of excursions and

destinations rather than the cruise

experience itself”

Sanctuary Retreats

“You can experience developing

countries such as Burma but still

have the luxury and comfort of

your cabin throughout”

River cruise

is a huge

focus for Titan

because of the

expansion in the

market”

“RIVER CRUISING IS

VERY SIMILAR TO

ESCORTED TOURING. IF

YOU HAVE TOURING

CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE

RIVER CRUISE

CUSTOMERS”

Leger Holidays

Follow us on instagram @sellingtravel and twitter @sellingtravmag

sellingtravel.co.uk


20

River cruise

Dialogue

Fast

facts

Fred.

Olsen’s

Brexit promise

offers a full

refund and a

free cruise if

Brexix affects

travel”

Words used

to describe

river cruising

included:

nature

culture

city break

laid-back

exotic

expensive

relaxing

pensioners

food & wine

50%

were not very

confident in

selling a river

cruise BEFORE the

event

40%

had sold a river

cruise in the last

year

77%

said that Selling

Travel River Cruise

events helped

them to better sell

60%

have seen AN

INCREASE in river

cruise enquiries

The most popular

river cruise

destination was:

83.2%

Europe

11.1%

Asia

5.6%

America

2%

Africa

sellingtravel.co.uk


Event

partners

River cruise

Dialogue

21

FRED OLSEN CRUISE LINES

AROSA

A-ROSA’s E-Motion ship, due for

delivery in spring 2021, features

large family cabins, a kids’ club and

a separate kids’ pool. New battery

propulsion technology enables

emission-free sailing in and out of cities,

and air bubble technology reduces fuel

consumption. arosa-cruises.com

CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope offers all-inclusive drinks

onboard all European cruises. The

operator is expanding its worldwide

river cruise programme in 2020 to

include more exotic itineraries such as

the Ganges in India and the Chobe in

Africa. Clients can also cruise on a canal

barge. croisieuroperivercruises.com

Fred. Olsen

As most of its passengers are from the

UK, Fred. Olsen prides itself on offering

a home away from home feel. The

operator is looking to add Luxembourg

on the Moselle to its portfolio and

is setting up Global Distribution

System for the Amazon and the Nile.

fredolsencruises.com

Leger Holidays

Leger works alongside Silver Service

and Luxuria coaches to offer local

pick-ups for clients who don’t want to

fly. New itineraries include Andalucia

& Guadalquivir, a Danube to Black Sea

Cruise, the Douro on CroisiEurope’s

new ships and the Rhine & Moselle.

leger.co.uk

Pandaw

Pandaw has launched a new 14-cabin

K-class ship to sail the rivers in

Myanmar. The operator is also offering

free travel for under 18s on selected

dates during the UK school holidays

with activities to suit all ages including

movie nights and free mountain bike

hire. pandaw.com

Sanctuary Retreats

Excursions are included on sailings to

Egypt, China and Myanmar as well as

Egyptology guides, an onboard doctor

and private docks in Luxor and Aswan.

The Sanctuary Nile Adventurer will join

the refurbished Sanctuary Sunboat IV for

regular four-night Aswan-Luxor sailings

in September. sanctuaryretreats.com

Scenic

For 2019 all Rhine, Main and Danube

vessels now include Salt Therapy

Lounges. Each of the Royal Owner’s

Suites has also been renovated,

including baths with a river view. New

for 2020 is an 11-day South of France

itinerary and an eight-day Lower

Danube Explorer tour. scenic.co.uk

Shearings

Shearings offers three-, four- and

five-star river cruises. Most itineraries

also include air, rail or road transport

and porterage all the way on the luxury

coach option. The operator has taken

larger allocations on A-ROSA vessels

and now offers a five-star option on

Amadeus vessels. shearings.com

Titan Travel

Titan offers a VIP door-to-door return

travel service on all river cruise

bookings. The operator also charters

two of its ships: Serenade 1 along the

Rhine and the Bellejour along the

Danube. Its Uniworld ships cruise in

Europe, North Africa, Russia and the

Far East. titantravel.co.uk

sellingtravel.co.uk


22

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

Training, events and fam trips

Northern agents have

animal welfare in mind

Over 200 agents attended the

annual Yorkshire Travel Ball in

July, which raises money for

animal charities across the

globe. The event, which has

been organised for the last 22

years by Selling Travel columnist

Sandy Murray, gives agents the

chance to network and catch up

with operators and win some

fantastic prizes.

This year the ball raised money

for Born Free, Elephant and

Dog sanctuary in India, Soi Dog

Foundation, Hull Greyhound

Dogs, Donkey Sanctuary and

the Greek Cat Rescue.

Carnival Cruise

rocks in Ibiza

A group of 50 top-performing agents

were rewarded with a three-night trip

to Ibiza as part of Carnival Cruise Line

UK’s Loyalty Rocks Club.

The agents stayed at the Ibiza Rocks

Hotel where they enjoyed exclusive

access to a DJ Jax Jones pool party, a

sunset cruise around the island and

dinner and after-show party at Pikes

Hotel. Surprise guest Dr Alex George

from Love Island 2018 was on hand

to present agents with their awards.

carnival.com

Agents head down under

Malaysia Airlines hosted a group of 11 agents

from STA, ITC, Hays and Austravel on a trip to

discover Australia’s Natural Coast, thanks to

Tourism Events Queensland, Visit Sunshine

Coast and Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.

After landing in Brisbane, the agents enjoyed

scuba diving, everglades tours (the region

has one of only two everglades systems in

the world) and a trip to the Noosa National

Park before taking a ferry to Fraser Island to

enjoy its seventy-five mile beach, unique lakes

and huge sand dunes. Agents finished the

adventure-packed trip in Hervey Bay.

malaysiaairlines.com

Record numbers

for Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture

and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

hosted 178 travel agents

across Chester, Manchester

and London in what was its

biggest roadshow yet.

Agents heard from 17 Abu

Dhabi suppliers and were

presented with the latest

news, including information

about the new Qasr Al

Watan, a palace offering

an interactive journey

through the emirate's

Arabic heritage, and more

Etihad Airways’ airlift from

Heathrow. visitabudhabi.ae

Have you enjoyed an interesting trade event or been on

a trip or fam that you would like to see featured on this

page? Email editorial@bmipublishing.co.uk

sellingtravel.co.uk


Salt Plage

Meet... MAGGIE O'NEIL

Executive Travel Consultant at CJL Travel

and an Azure Ambassador

Travel Training for Success debuts

Homeworkers and independant agents heard from six

trade partners including LJR Consultancy, Small Luxury

Hotels, Azure Collection and Sunrise Marketing at the

latest Travel Training for Success event in London. Agents

attending the event organised by Jenny Jackson, a Classic

Travel homeworker, included Not Just Travel, The Freedom

Travel Group, Independent Travel Experts, Hays Travel and

Explorer Travel. jenny@luxurytravelgurus.com

Agents enjoy Premier trip to Jersey

Premier Holidays took 18 agents on a mega-fam to Jersey

for two nights, with activities including visits to the Jersey

War Tunnels and Jersey Zoo, wine tasting at La Mare Wine

Estate and a tour of some of the island’s hot spots such as

Gorey, St Ouen’s Bay and Corbiere Lighthouse.

premierholidays.co.uk

BEACH BAR BLISS AT SALT PLAGE

I'm so busy enjoying the cool breeze of the sea air that the

jetty ahead seems to come out of nowhere! As we dock at Salt

Plage, overlooking Whitehouse Bay, the first word that comes

to mind is 'chic'. Barefoot sophistication is the theme and

this is reflected in the stylish hammocks suspended over the

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

it's not long before there's talk of sinking into one of the plush

daybeds to enjoy the ocean view.

We're welcomed with music and dancers in colourful

costumes, their warm smiles infectious, and it's easy to see

how this chilled daytime oasis transforms into the go-to party

place once the sun goes down. Full moon parties and DJs are

popular among the locals

and a signature cocktail,

the SALT Plage Jumbie

– a concoction of spiced

rum with fresh pineapple,

oranges, cherries and

grated nutmeg – also

helps to get you in the

mood for a dance.

FAMILY APPEAL

The adults don't get to have all the fun

though, children are welcomed and eagerly come to spot fish

swimming in the crystal clear waters from the jetty.

There's also a menu serving island favourites such as plantain

chips, fish tacos and lobster wraps to keep their hunger at bay.

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

bar, but nothing could prepare me for what was still to come.

Salt Plage is often described as the best spot to watch the

sunset on the island and I watch in awe as wisps of pink and

orange start to fade beyond the darkening horizon. I can't help

but agree.

Get cash incentives for your bookings at

stkittsrewards.co.uk

sellingtravel.co.uk


24

FOUR-SIGHT

Our columnists

With a cruise

ship crashing

in Venice and

unseemly queues

to climb the

once remote

and inaccessible

Everest, we ask:

is overtourism

out of control

and what can

agents do?

Anneka in off-thebeaten-track

Yukon...

...and her Welsh

country retreat

We should be

encouraging

off-thebeaten-track

itineraries

OVERTOURISM is a growing problem,

personified by that photo of climbers

queuing on Everest. As an agency, we send

travellers all over the world daily, and it does

trouble me that we add to the problem.

The question is, how do we ensure the

world is kept open for all to explore, whilst

also protecting the people, wildlife, flora

and fauna that exist in all these popular

destinations? It could be an idea to limit the

number of visitors to national parks, for

example, or enact special laws like those that

restrict visitor numbers to the Galapagos

Islands. But does this then make visiting such

destinations an elitist experience, just for

those that can afford it?

I do believe that agents can certainly play

a role in easing overcrowding in tourism

destinations by switch-selling to a different

one and encouraging people to explore more

off-the-beaten-track places.

A lot of my repeat Canada customers are

keen to explore further afield away from

British Columbia or Alberta and ask me to

arrange more varied itineraries that include

Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada or, my

favourite, Yukon Territory.

Talking of Canada, I really enjoyed

CanadaFest last month, a day of training,

food, comedy and music with a festival

theme. I’ve also been invited on a fam trip to

the Maldives, and have just booked a break

in Wales – not as glamorous as the Indian

Ocean, but just a little ‘off the beaten track’,

so I’m doing my small bit for overtourism!

A RECENT article in a U.S. Travel Journal listed

the Galapagos, Majorca, Amsterdam, Angkor

Wat, Machu Picchu, Santorini, Iceland, Bali,

Barcelona, Venice and Mount Everest as the

destinations most affected by overtourism

- to which I would personally add Dubrovnik,

Boracay and Rudesheim!

As a cruise agent, I know the impact that

large cruise ships can have when two or three

visit a destination at once - both on the place

visited and for the passengers who see the

place in a crowded, unfavourable light. As

a river cruise specialist, I am aware that the

recent explosion of river cruise numbers is

now leading to claims of 'too many ships' in

some mooring locations.

Several operators have looked to vary

We must look

to operators

who are being

creative about

schedules

sailing dates, find alternative moorings and

are now exploring lesser-known towns and

villages. For example, AmaWaterways now

focuses on Vilshofen rather than Passau or

Nuremberg as the starting point of many of

its Danube sailings. We must look to steer

clients to operators who are being creative

about schedules to avoid overtourism.

My early May cycling weekend in Lake

Bled was a good example of going out of

season to somewhere that can suffer from

excess tourists in high season. Lake Bled was

deserted as the weather was too bad for any

boating, and we cycled up empty mountain

roads, well wrapped up against the snow!

THE FAMILY BUSINESS

Anneka Desrosiers

Southern Cross Travel,

East Sussex

THE CRUISE SPECIALIST

James Hill

Go Cruise, Cruise specialist,

Worcestershire

sellingtravel.co.uk


FOUR-SIGHT

25

Our columnists

I'd never

send anyone

somewhere I

would not go to

myself

I ALWAYS try to steer my clients away

from the large resorts as there is nothing

worse than an early morning 'stampede' for

sunbeds or crammed beaches.

When my clients go on holiday, it is to

enjoy some quality family time, relax and

experience some local culture, therefore my

philosophy has always been to never send

anyone to a resort, hotel or destination I

would not go to myself.

Outside the large hotels you can find

wonderful family-run guest houses and local

restaurants waiting to welcome tourists

with open arms. And nothing beats the

atmosphere of a Greek taverna with fresh

wholesome food, and knowing you are

helping their business to thrive.

Meanwhile, I've been busy with my

latest venture, Travel Training for Success,

a training day for homeworkers and

independent agents. These educational days

are a great opportunity for agents to get

together and hear from key trade partners

about what they have to offer.

At the event each partner has time to talk

about their product portfolio, answer any

questions and engage with the group.

It's all about learning something new in this

constantly evolving industry.

So far we have welcomed agents from

Not Just Travel, The Freedom Travel Group,

Independent Travel Experts, Mid Counties

Travel Group, Hays Travel Group and

Explorer Travel, and I am currently working

on some great venues outside of London.

THE LUXURY SPECIALIST

Jenny Jackson

Luxury Travel Guru

OVERTOURISM has such a negative impact

on the travel industry, yet it goes on day

after day without much thought to the effect

on the locals and the animals that are often

associated with popular tourist attractions.

For example, the treatment of the poor

donkeys on Santorini has got even worse. In

summer up to five cruise ships a day bring

1,200 tourists to the island. These tourists

pay to ride the donkeys and as a result they

are being crippled, with locals resorting to

cross-breeding to produce mules so they can

carry heavier tourists!

However, there are signs that authorities

are beginning to fight back. Popular Thai

beach Maya Bay, which was made famous

by the film The Beach, has been closed until

2020 to allow the eco-system time to recover.

There have been protests against cruise ships

docking in Venice after a recent collision and

now even the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

in New York are limiting some tours.

The Taj Mahal has also increased prices and

set time limits. I would recommend looking

at lowseasontraveller.com, a great tool for

those who enjoy travelling out of season.

Aside from a holiday in Crete, I've spent

much of the last few months organising the

annual Yorkshire Travel Ball, which again

has attracted over 200 attendees. This year

proceeds go towards helping the donkeys

mentioned above as well as the Greek Cat

Welfare Society, Soi Dog Foundation and

Wildlife SOS for Elephants & Dogs.

And my thought of the month: 'One thing

you can give and still keep is your word’.

We should be

promoting low

season travel

to clients

THE HOME WORKER

Sandy Murray

Sandy's Travel Escapes

Jenny at herTravel

Training for Success

day

Sunset in Crete

Sandy with the owner

of her favourite place

in Crete, Anfield Bar

Next month our

columnists talk

about: Training

and how to keep

progressing

professionally

sellingtravel.co.uk


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£599

Outside

Boppard (overnight), Rudesheim, Mannheim, Heidelberg &

Speyer, Strasbourg, Mainz, Andernach (overnight), Cologne.

£919

8 night Christmas time on the Danube

25 Nov 19 - Avalon Passion

Balcony

Prague (overnight), Nuremberg (overnight),

Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna (overnight).

Le Méridien Al Aqah

Beach Resort

All-Inclusive

from £72

PLUS FREE child places for up to 2 under 14 years old & FREE

return transfers from Dubai International Airport on selected dates.

Staff's family may travel independently.

SUMMER

HOLIDAY

SAVINGS!

Staff's family & friends may also travel at these rates.

Book with confidence

Hotel prices are per person per night and based on 2 adults sharing unless otherwise stated. Cruise prices

are per person and include all taxes and port charges. Offers subject to availability and maybe withdrawn

without notice. Terms & conditions apply.

All-Inclusive Gold from £85

All-Inclusive Dine Around from £102

Please call for more information on

All-Inclusive options.

ACCREDITEDAGENT


ON LOCATION

27

Tobago Tourism Fam Trip

Taken with Tobago

BY SANDY MURRAY, HOMEWORKER

It really is amazing the opportunities

we get as travel agents. One minute I'm

at an event talking to Tobago Tourism

Sales and Marketing Manager, Stephen

Smith (who it turned out had hosted

me on a Cayman Islands trip 16 years

ago!), the next I'm at Manchester Airport

about to embark on the most amazing

trip to Tobago – an island which

claims to be unspoilt.

Putting my watch back

four hours to the local

time, I settled into my

flight with Thomas

Cook, dreaming of

sandy beaches and palm

trees. I wasn't disappointed

when I arrived at Le

Grand Courlan Spa, which

overlooks Stonehaven Bay, an

uncommercial beach that attracts

turtles for six months from March to August.

Excited to make the most of this

Caribbean adventure, I was surprised to

hear that we would be attending Sunday

School at 21.30 that evening – but I soon

learnt this was no ordinary Sunday service!

Instead of hymns and a stuffy church I

turned up at a vibrant street party, complete

with a steel drum band, rum punches and

no religious element whatsoever. My kind of

Sunday School!

The next day we visited historical sites Fort

Bennett and Fort James before attempting

to decipher the Mystery Tombstone of Betty

James, which reads: ' She was a mother

without knowing it, and a wife without letting

her husband know it except by her kind

indulgence to him'. Curious!

Our next stop proved perfect

for bird watchers: the Adventure

Nature Park is home to a huge

number of hummingbirds that flock

around feeders – perfect for that

close-up photo.

Hungry for some traditional Tobago

food, we headed to the Blue Crab

restaurant, run by long-term couple Kenneth

and Alison Sardinha. Not only were we

served a delicious meal, but by chance we

also managed to look in on the couple whilst

they filmed with celebrity chef

Ainsley Harriott!

As an animal welfare

ambassador, I was keen to

TOBAGO

visit Corbin Local Wildlife Park the

next day. Having checked into Mt

Irvine Bay Resort, another lovely hotel

set in 154 acres and overlooking the sea, we

explored this park which rescues and breeds

endangered local wildlife. I was thrilled

to learn about the ‘breed and release’

programme and we even saw an ocelot cat

that had been rescued.

The trip ended with a boat tour of Buccoo

Reef with its turquoise Nylon Pool and, of

course, time spent at Pigeon Point, which is

often considered Tobago's most beautiful

beach and great for people watching.

I left already wanting to return.

Tobago really is unspoilt, untouched

and undiscovered.

Clockwise from top left: A hummingbird at the Adventure Nature Park;

Tobago sunset; Sandy (centre) with Kenneth and Alison Sardinha at the

Blue Crab restaurant; Pigeon Point Heritage Centre,; an ocelot at the Corbin

Local Wildlife Park.

sellingtravel.co.uk


28

agents talk

Selling Travel listens

This month #agentstalk about...

Get social with us: SellingTravel SellingTravelmag @sellingtravmag

"I LOVE IT! Las Vegas is clearly

an all-occasions destination."

Travel Agent rants & raves

This month Jenny Jackson asked: "New divorce packages to Las Vegas from Virgin

Holidays...Tacky or genius?

Jenny Jackson

Founder of Luxury

Travel Guru

Agents

overheard

"When a customer

shows you a hotel

they've found in Ibiza

and it's actually San

Antonio, Texas!"

"Get drunk, meet a girl and

do it all over again, like Ross

Geller from Friends."

“But does it include Prosecco

by the gallon for the ladies?"

"I'm not sure how many people

want to 'celebrate' a divorce,

but I guess any excuse to

head to the entertainment

capital of the world!"

"Personally I made this the

last stop of my honeymoon,

so Vegas really is an all

rounder!"

"TACKY, TACKY, TACKY!"

"I know a really good divorce

counsellor if anyone is

interested, which is probably

better than this"

"Nobody takes marriage

seriously anymore! My

grandparents have been

married 60 years and my

parents 25 years! People used

to work through problems,

nowadays any

little argument seems to end

in a divorce!"

"Vegas sees it all, weddings,

stag and hen parties,

honeymoons, so why not add

divorce to the list?"

"If you can't go and forget

about your problems in

Vegas then seriously, where

can you?"

“I had a client

complain that

the hash browns

were the wrong

shape”

"A woman asked if there was

another way to get to Florida

as she is too scared to fly. She

called Flight Centre though..."

"My client asked if

they could take haggis

in their hand luggage

to Spain"

8nts, Sri Lanka Tour &

5nts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton

0208 585 4020

holidays@travelpack.com

fr£2159pp

Highlights: Kandy • Nuwara Eliya • Udawalawa • Beruwala • Maldives

Travel: 1 Sep 19 - 30 Sep 19

Package includes flights, accommodation & transfers.


IN THE OFFICE

29

with Ushma Valerio - Not Just Travel

Consultant becomes travel's radio star

Not Just Travel consultant Ushma

Valerio proved live on air that luxury

'Instagrammable' travel doesn't mean

breaking the bank.

"I overheard two Kiss FM presenters talking

about a prize draw to win £40,000 and how

they would spend the entire sum of money

on an overwater villa in the Maldives. I

knew that was an outrageous amount of

money to pay and found myself calling

the station and quoting £4,700 for the trip

- meaning the pair could go eight times

for the same money! I think an important

part of our job is to educate people and

reassure them that their dream holiday

is achievable, so it was a really good way

to open up that conversation, even if they

were slightly taken aback."

Is sharing caring?

"There's this misconception that luxury

travel is reserved for those

with a lot of money or for

influencers to post on

their social media, but

people's perception

People's perception

of luxury is

changing

of luxury is changing.

Clients will often

be open to adding

a touch of luxury

even to a standard

city break. For example,

perhaps they like the idea of

adding a VIP lounge, a seat upgrade or even

a private transfer. That’s what elevates the

holiday to make it seamless and luxurious.

"Instagram has been a game changer

in travel and hugely influences where

people go. Consumers will often see a

destination or hotel on social media and

want to stay there purely on that one post.

It’s up to us as travel specialists to

accommodate those requests

and deliver these

high expectations.

"It’s no longer good

enough to just offer a nice

all-inclusive; customers are

demanding an exact location

and asking what else they get

included in the price. There’s

a culture of trying to outdo your

friends nowadays and experience

something that is very different to day-today

life. It's great because it gives people

a desire to travel, but it also demonstrates

DISNEY

why it's so important to meet with suppliers

regularly and stay up-to-date with new

product and the latest openings."

Feeling the love

"Bali has been a big seller in 2019; people

are realising they don't have to compromise

their standards because they're in a

different country. I'm also seeing more

demand for multi- generation holidays – it's

great to be able to help families reconnect.

"I love the time just before a client is due

to go on holiday. It doesn't matter if I've

invested four months on the most amazing

safari booking or spent a few hours on a

city break, It's just as exciting. I want to hear

all about the trip and see all the photos

when they get back. It’s so important to me

to give that personal, friendly service.”

ushmavalerio.notjusttravel.com

MATT WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY

The ultimate luxury train travel

experiences in India

0208 585 4020

holidays@travelpack.com

fr£6759pp fr£4999pp fr£2599pp

8nts, Maharaja Express

9nts, Palace on Wheels

7nts, The Deccan Odyssey

Travel : 27 Sep, 22 Nov 19, 14 Feb, 3 Mar 20 Travel : 16 Oct, 20 Nov 19, 26 Feb, 15 Apr 20 Travel : 9 Sep 19

Package includes flights, accommodation & transfers.


30

48 hours in

Bangkok

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

as trendy as it is traditional. From shopping to spas and Buddhas to bars,

boredom is not an option, says Jo Gardner

TAKE IN THE VIEWS FROM THE THREE SIXTY ROOF TOP BAR

THE GRAND PALACE

EXPLORE LIFE ON THE RIVER

SAVOUR THE STREET FOOD FLAVOURS

Day 1: Get your bearings

Morning: Start with a bird’s eye

view of the city to get your

bearings. Many of the city’s

high-rise hotels offer incredible views but if

your clients aren’t up In the clouds, tell

them to head to Spectrum for a coffee, a

three-level bar atop the new Hyatt Regency

Sukhumvit Hotel (hyatt.com).

Taxi to MSW Pier and from here hop

on a canal boat and cruise along the

Chao Phraya river to Phan Pia. You’ll

pass locals going about their daily life on

the riverbank, temples gleaming in the

sunlight, and boats selling local food all

along the way.

Afternoon: From Phan Pia Pier,

walk up to Wat sa Ket (Golden

Mount) and admire the striking

white and gold temple that was built in

1350-1767AD. The gardens set around the

temple feature mature trees and typical

Bhuddist structures such as the main

chapel, ordination hall and library.

Back at the bottom, hail a tuk-tuk and

whiz across to Chinatown for lunch. This

area of Bangkok is packed with food

outlets, shops selling gold, hotels, bars

and market stalls. Shun the restaurants

and order some street food – the dim sum

and noodle dishes are local favourites

and particularly delicious (they are also as

cheap as chips).

Evening: For the best cut of steak in

the city, head to The Rib Room in the

Landmark Hotel (landmarkbangkok.

com) and watch your steak being cooked

on a large flame in an open kitchen. Then

choose your sauce: blue cheese, garlic,

mustard or Dijon.

For a nightcap, get a tuk-tuk to Ironballs

(ironballsparlour.com), a tiny gin bar with

live music that wouldn’t be out of place

in Soho. Try the elderflower and pink

peppercorn speciality after a distillery tour.

Day 2: Get set and shop

Morning: Use the cool of the

morning to be outside. Dating

back to the 1920s, Lumpini Park

offers plenty of forestry shade as well as

pretty flora and fauna in a whopping

500,000 metres of space. People come

here to jog, row or paddleboat on the lake,

picnic, play basketball, practice Tai Chi,

work the open-air gym, and listen to live

jazz performed here on Sundays.

Afternoon: Escape the midday

heat and blow the baht in the

air-conditioned comfort of a

sellingtravel.co.uk


48 hours in 31

gleaming mall. Head to Siam Paragon

(siamparagon.co.th), for example, to buy

fashion, high-end gadgets, homeware and

even sports cars in modern luxury; or

CentralWorld (centralworld.co.th) boasts

100 restaurants, a 15-screen cinema and

an ice-skating rink; while MBK (mbk-center.

co.th) is famous for affordable and fake; or

EmQuartier offers labels galore.

Evening: Head to Cultural Centre

MRT station and from here walk

to the Rot Fai Market. It's split

into long avenues with antiques, secondhand

toys and curios in the central strips;

clothes, handbags and snack stalls around

the periphery. For dinner, hunt out Leng

Zapp where Leng, a traditional clear soup

made from pork bones and dressed with

chillies, herbs and spices, is a speciality.

End how you started at a rooftop bar –

Vertigo (on the 66th floor of the Banyan

Tree Bangkok), Octave Rooftop bar (on

the 45th floor of Bangkok Marriott Hotel

Sukhumvit) or Three Sixty (on the 32nd

floor of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok).

ADMIRE THE MIGHTY CHAO PHRAYA RIVER

SHOP THE MANY MALLS

“Use the cool of the morning

to be outside. Lumpini Park

offers plenty of shade as

well as pretty flora and

fauna in a whopping

500,000 metres of space”

BOOK IT... WITH PREMIER HOLIDAYS

Combine two nights in the Rembrandt Hotel,

Bangkok (superior room) with eight nights

in Hua Hin from £999pp, including a Bangkok

by Night tour and Bangkok City and Temple

tour, plus flights from London with Eva Air and

transfers, departing October.

trade.premierholidays.co.uk


32

the mediterranean

out of the

Blue

The Mediterranean is an enduring British

favourite but there’s nothing tired or old

about its current offering, says

Jeannine Williamson

the caves of comino island, malta

I

feel as if I’m at home as I stroll

through the charming cobbled

streets of Valletta in the afternoon

sunshine. Around me are familiar red

postboxes, well-known high street shops

and cars driving on the left.

Although Malta has been independent for

more than 50 years, the British influence is

part of its enduring appeal. After browsing

through a market selling inexpensive handmade

lace, knitwear and honey, I head to

Upper Barrakka Gardens, the highest point

in the Maltese capital, with panoramic views

across Grand Harbour. Right on 16.00 local

history society members dressed in British

artillery uniforms fire a gun salute. It’s a

stirring sight and a throwback to the days

when cannons protected the island against

attacks and signalled the time of day.

Next morning I take a 25-minute ferry

ride to small, neighbouring Gozo, where life

ticks by at a leisurely pace. Sea salt has been

produced here for centuries and the salt

pans glisten in the sun at Marsalforn.

Afterwards I enjoy an al fresco lunch at

Ta’Mena Estate in the countryside.

Overlooking an orange grove, I tuck into

platters of local cheese, salads bursting with

flavour and oven-fresh rosemary-scented

bread with wine from the estate. It provides

a real taste of these beautiful islands, less

than three hours from London.

sellingtravel.co.uk


the mediterranean 33

reliable cyprus

dramatic Puglia, italy

colourful turkey

Numbers game

In 2018 the number of UK tourists visiting

Malta reached 640,570, up 14.2% from

2017. This strong performance is likely

to continue, with Air Malta offering an

increased 16 flights a week from London

Heathrow, as well as from Manchester,

Birmingham, Southend and Bristol.

Peter Vella, Director UK & Ireland, Malta

Tourism Authority, said: “Last year was a

busy year as Valletta was the European

Capital of Culture and the island hosted

the first European TropOut [gay traveller]

Festival as well as the annual calendar of

festivals and events. Boasting 300 days of

sun a year, the archipelago has a wealth of

history, culture and stunning landscapes,

which makes Malta appealing.”

Elsewhere, Exsus Travel reports that

Turkey is back on the radar with a rise in

bookings. “As a result, we have revamped

our Turkey product,” said Neil Sutton,

Senior Account Manager for Europe. “We

recommend the Six Senses Kaplankaya and

Amanruya on the Bodrum Peninsula for

their location and impressive facilities. And

in Spain, the new Menorca Experimental, a

pretty finca set in pine forests with private

villas with pools, opens this summer. These

villas are perfect for a weekend break or

couple’s holiday.”

Classic Collection has seen an increase

in two- or multi-centre holidays, elegant

rail journeys and rail and ferry transfers

between resorts. Gary Boyer, Head of

Purchasing, added: “The Mediterranean

is ideal for combining a cultural stay in

a city with a few relaxing days in the sun

by the sea or in

com) is a short stroll away from the coffee

houses, bars and restaurants of Gran Via

and within walking distance of attractions

including the Marques de Don Aguas Palace

and market. The hotel has a direct Metro

link to the airport, providing short and

easy transfers on a

the countryside.

weekend break.

“The Mediterranean is

Agents can enjoy the

Majorca’s capital,

extra commission ideal for combining a Palma, is 15 minutes

from these highervalue

cultural stay in a city with a from the airport and

bookings and

demonstrate the

few relaxing days in the

sun by the sea or in the

also good for short

breaks. The new

value they bring to

boutique property

countryside”

the holiday booking

Palacio Can Marques

Gary Boyer, Classic Collection

process.”

(palaciocanmarques.

com) has 13 designer

The weekend break

From cultural city breaks to a few days on

the beach, and the majority of flight times

suites with Murano lighting. Built in 1760, it

was previously a grand private home and

retains many original features.

less than three hours, the Mediterranean is

perfect for weekend breaks.

Malaga’s landmark Gran Hotel Miramar

(granhotelmiramarmalaga.com) has

Sell it: Kirker Holidays offers a three-night weekend

break in Malaga at the Grand Hotel Miramar from

£783. kirkerholidays.com

launched new two-day Indulge + Detox

packages combining relaxation, pampering

and healthy menus. Treatments include

a Dead Sea salt scrub, seaweed wrap and

choice of massages.

Staying in Spain, NH Hotel Group recently

opened a 47-room property in Valencia. The

NH Collection Valencia Colon (nh-hotels.

The relaxing couples holiday

Sales opportunities abound with a raft of

new openings. In Cyprus adult-only Amavi

Hotel (amavihotel.com), offering couples

side-by-side massages, cocktails by the pool

and romantic meals, is the first member

of Made For Two Hotels, a brand

sellingtravel.co.uk


34

the mediterranean

Spanish flamenco in action

Balearic charms

launched by Kanika Hotels & Resorts.

Pierre & Vacances (pierreetvacances.com)

has opened the self-catering P&V Premium

Residence Menorca Binibeca. Some of the

149 rooms have private rooftops and there

is a free spa area. In Corfu, MarBella Hotels

has unveiled the MarBella Nido Suite Hotel

& Villas property (marbellanido.gr) featuring

70 suites and villas. And on the north-east

coast of Sardinia the new Gabbiano Azzurro

Suites is being offered by Just Sardinia

(justsardinia.co.uk).

Simpson Travel (simpsontravel.com)

has introduced Katouna Suites, a stylish,

adult-only retreat on Lefkada with

accommodation cut into the hillside.

Sell it: Travel2 offers seven nights in Paphos at the

Amavi Hotel from £1,089. travel2.com

The fun family holiday

Mark Warner (markwarner.co.uk) has

opened the Paleros Beach Resort on the

Greek mainland. A multi-million pound

refurbishment of an existing property brings

130 contemporary doubles, suites and

family rooms set in beachside gardens to an

unspoilt stretch of coastline.

New activities for youngsters include

exciting robotics workshops with 3D printing

at MarBella Corfu (marbella.gr). And at

Crete’s Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

(eloundapeninsula.com) there are children’s

yoga classes and Greek dancing lessons. At

the Kempinski Hotel Bahia (kempinski.com)

they can take Andalusian cookery classes.

Just Sardinia (justsardinia.com) has

introduced S’Incantu Resort on the southeast

coast, offering studio, one- and

two-bedroom self-catering apartments

with a pool, snack bar and mini club; while

Simpson Travel (simpsontravel.com) has a

new nanny service in Corfu.

Portugal’s Algarve won the award for

Europe’s Leading Beach Destination at the

2019 World Travel Awards for a recordbreaking

sixth time. Its calmer beaches are

perfect for small children, whilst older kids

can enjoy watersports.

Sell it: Just Sardina offers seven nights near

Villasimius at the S’Incantu Resort from £898 for up

to four sharing. justsardina.co.uk

A touring adventure

Matera in Basilicata is European Capital

of Culture 2019 and Red Savannah

(redsavannah.com) has a new self-drive tour

through this little-known southern Italian

region. Taking in neighbouring Puglia, the

week-long itinerary includes B&B hotel

accommodation, car hire, entrance fees to

attractions and a cookery class.

As Italy celebrates a year of ‘Slow

Tourism’ in 2019, Planetrail (planetrail.

co.uk) offers the new week-long Flavours

of Tuscany itinerary combining rail travel

to the Tuscan coast with a self-drive tour

including wine and cheese tastings. Its other

Mediterranean tours include a 10-night railand

fly-holiday visiting Madrid, Malaga and

Gibraltar.

G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) has a

new 10-day crewed voyage from Venice

to Zadar inspired by an ancient trading

route, on a yacht sleeping up to eight.

Unforgettable Croatia (unforgettablecroatia.

co.uk), which recently launched a new

eco-friendly initiative with the Blue

World Institute of Marine Research and

Conservation, offers seven-night sailings

and 10-night cruise-and-stay packages in

the Adriatic.

Sell it: Inntravel offers a six-night self-guided

walking tour on Andros, Greece, from £635pp.

inntravel.co.uk

algarve, portugal

sellingtravel.co.uk


36

my journey

St. Vincent & the

At Dark View

Fallls

Grenadines

From islands designed for billionaires to movie star cays surrounded by turtles,

Kathryn Liston hops between St. Vincent and a few of the Grenadines

Tobago Cays

I

’m face-to-face with a huge hawksbill turtle,

its shell and cream belly so close to my mask

I can almost count its markings. It turns and

glides to join two others feeding on tufts of sea

grass, but as I turn for the shore a huge stingray

emerges, flapping its gigantic wings.

I am snorkelling in the protected Baradal Turtle

Sanctuary of the Tobago Cays, a cluster of five tiny,

uninhabited cays, so remote that the desert scene

of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the

Black Pearl was filmed on nearby

Petit Tabac.

My island hopping

adventure starts in St.

Vincent as we drive

north along the Leeward

coast, the narrowing

road clinging tightly to

the cliff edge. Lush forests

and prettily painted houses in

pastel pinks, blues and greens

tumble down the mountainside onto

black-sand beaches and looking-glass seas.

We must inch our jelly-like legs across the long

swinging bamboo bridge over the Richmond River

to reach Dark View Falls, a magnificent waterfall

cascading 110 ft down acliff face.

The ice-cold water is a welcome relief from the

intense heat but, unbeknowst to us, there’s more

to come. We follow ranger Maxwell Robertson’s

magnificent head of dreds up a flight of

57 steep steps, clambering over slippery

boulders, jagged rocks and fast-running

rivulets until we reach a second waterfall

– a 229-foot thundering beauty directly

above the first.

Sadly, we don’t have time for the fourhour

hike to the crater of the active

Soufriere Saint Vincent volcano - a

The turquoise sea

glows brighter and the

powder sands whiter

rite of passage for island boys, which Maxwell did

when he was 10 - but enroute to our hotel we enjoy

views from Fort Charlotte.

At private Young Island we find 29 secluded

cottages, sparsely laid out and surrounded by the

deafening din of tree frogs. Mine comes with a

plunge pool, hammock and gorgeous sea views

thanks to the 160 steep steps I have to climb to

reach it. Thankfully, this works off the delicious

homemade coconut bread I devour.

A rum time

It’s rum for breakfast! The

sweet aroma of molasses

greets our arrival at St

Vincent Distillers, which

was a sugar factory in the

1920s and now offers tours

and tastings of its five rums.

For lunch, we feast on

finger-licking jerk chicken in

Kingstown, the capital, before taking

the 45-minute ferry to Bequia, one of 32 islands

(only nine inhabited) in The Grenadines.

Pretty Port Elizabeth exudes a laid-back

Caribbean vibe. Yachts bob gently in the harbour

and bright wooden shacks lining the waterfront

sell ‘fresh coconut - natural viagra’, rum

punch, books and colourful rattan baskets. We

are whisked in an open-sided 4WD to the Bequia

Beach Hotel, where owner Bengt Mortstedt has

dotted retro posters and quirky lamps promoting

‘Island Time’ and ‘Parrot Party’ around the

sumptuous colonial lounge and bedrooms.

We visit the recently-opened Boat Museum to

learn about the island’s whaling heritage and

on our way to lunch at Coco’s Place, we stop at

British-built Fort Hamilton for views of Admiralty

Bay, before devouring jumbo shrimp and conch.

An exhilarating 10-minute flight in a six-seater

aircraft takes us to Mustique and the only hotel on

the island, the colonial-style Cotton House, which

boasts opulent villas owned (or rented out) by the

rich and famous, including Mick Jagger.

At a cocktail party that evening, Executive Chef

sellingtravel.co.uk


my journey 37

Sailing

Empty beaches and swaying

palms

Adam Steer uncovers the pig he has buried and

cooked in the sand for several hours - it’s delicious.

Beautiful bird song is my alarm call for a morning

swim. Their beauty palls somewhat when one of

them steals my melon at breakfast.

My next hop, Canuoan, is nicknamed ‘the

Caribbean island where the billionaires go to escape

the millionnaires’. No expense has been spared on

the exclusive 1,200-acre Canuoan Estate - even

the 17th-century church was brought over from

England. Opulence also exudes from the all-suite

Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking gorgeous

Godahl Beach, where I control the curtains, TV and

air-conditioning from an iPad (from $1,400 a night).

There are also 13 luxury rental villas, an 18-hole golf

course and, nearby, the new Sandy Lane Marina.

Raising the fl ag

Our catamaran cruise through the Grenadines to

Petit St. Vincent the following morning is a highlight.

As we near the private island, the turquoise sea

glows brighter and the powder sands whiter - it’s

picture-perfect.

Matt, the general manager, whisks us around the

hilly, wooded island in a open-top buggy, including

in his tour his pride and joy, a 6,000 bottle wine

cellar with vintages costing up to $1,500 a bottle.

It’s easy to relax here. There are no keys or wifi in

the 22 beautiful and secluded cottages. You don’t

even have to leave for meals - just raise a yellow flag

outside for complimentary room service.

I enjoy a superb Balinese massage with fragrant

lemongrass in the tree-top spa and a West Indies

beer tasting, including unusual coffee and chocolate

varieties, precedes an excellent dinner of freshlycaught

scallops and snapper.

Will Palm Island, my final stop, live up to this?

Here I find barefoot chic: soft powder sands,

swaying palms and turquoise seas are a hop from

my day bed. There are hammocks, spa treatments

using home-grown frangipani, a pool, gym, yoga

and boat trips.

Just like Robinson Crusoe, I feel like I have this

island all to myself - apart from the resident iguanas

that is, who I’m happy to share my paradise with. •

St. Vincent

Rum Distillery

Mayreau

WHERE TO BOOK IT

Lusso Travel has a seven-nights-for theprice-of

fi ve offer at Petit St. Vincent,

saving £1,305 and starting from £4,780pp,

based on two people sharing a one-bedroom

cottage, full-board and including boat

transfers, fl ights with Virgin Atlantic and

fl ights to Union Island. It’s valid for stays

from November 1 to December 19 2019

and 2020 and in April and May 2020 and

2021. lussotravel.com

sellingtravel.co.uk

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middle east 39

like that?

Try this!

Adam Coulter looks at how agents can switch-sell to

the Middle East for everything from a beach holiday to

scuba diving to a food and culture-focused city break

Everybody told me: “Oh you must

dive the Red Sea, why haven’t

you dived the Red Sea yet?” Hand

on heart, I had no idea. My travels had

taken me to the Caribbean, Mexico,

Thailand and the Canary Islands, but

never the Red Sea.

I had the idea of experiencing this scuba

hotspot from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - a new

country for me. My thinking was the coral

and the sea life around those popular

parts of the Red Sea - Aqaba, Sharm and El

Gouna – might be ‘over-dived’, so why not

try out somewhere where dive tourism is

still in its infancy?

I was not disappointed. As well as crystalclear

waters, the spots we dived, Table

Mountain and Chicken Wreck, had an

abundance of marine life – squirrel fish,

grouper, wrasse, jacks, trevellies, pufferfish

and a blue-spotted ray; as well as big

growth corals – fan and brain – all good

signs of the health of these waters.

The only thing missing was large marine

life, specifically sharks, and for that one

spot kept coming up, again and again –

the Musandam Peninsula in Oman. This

rugged region, sliced in half by Ras al

Khaimah, and jutting into the Strait of

Hormuz, is the main thoroughfare for

marine life going into and out of the Gulf

of Oman to the Persian Gulf. I resolved: My

next dive trip would be Oman.

Market snapshot

Iain Raeper, If Only’s (now former)

Commercial & Product Manager for the

Middle East region, said: “The Gulf has

performed fantastically well as an overall

destination for If Only since the beginning

of 2019.

“Specific ‘heroes’ have been Abu Dhabi

and Ras Al Khaimah, where room night

production up to June 2019 exceeded the

whole of 2018. Increased flight capacity

to the region from the UK and Ireland, as

well as supportive partnership campaigns

with tourist boards have helped contribute

towards this growth.

“Dubai remains a popular destination,

and will continue to grow into 2020 thanks

to the eagerly anticipated World Expo.

PEARLING IN RAS AL KHAIMAH

sellingtravel.co.uk

PICTURE CAPTION

OMAN’S RUGGED MUSANDAM REGION


40

middle east

A FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TOUR - PERFECT FOR THRILL SEEKERS

CABANA DINNER, RAS AL KHAIMAH

SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE, ABU DHABI

A TRADITIONAL ARAB DHOW BOAT

FALCONRY IS ABU DHABI’S NATIONAL SPORT

“Ajman is fast becoming the choice

of sun worshippers who don’t want to be

too far away from the action of Dubai,

whilst Fujairah offers some of the most

spectacular beaches in the UAE.”

Latest figures from the Ras Al Khaimah

Tourism Authority reveal that visitor

numbers are up by 10% in 2018 compared

to 2017. The emirate welcomed one million

visitors in 2018.

Ras al Khaimah sees the opening of the

Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Q1 2020,

on Jebel Jais, which is already home to the

world’s longest zip-line.

Qatar National Tourism Council and

Qatar Airways have launched a summer

in Qatar partnership, with savings of up

to 25% on flights to Doha for travel up to

August 16 2019 (qatarairways.com), and

25% off participating hotels’ daily rates

(summerinqatar.qa/hotels).

The 233-room Anantara Resort from

luxury hospitality group Minor Hotels is

due to open in a prime beachfront location

in Sharjah next year.

Grand Prix, which takes place over four

days from November 28.

You’ll have to persuade your client to

change their travel dates (bringing forward

their May dates to November), and take a

mid-haul flight (seven hours as opposed to

an hour-and-a-half to Nice), but apart from

that there are many similarities – a rich city

state governed by an absolute monarchy,

on the coast, with lovely weather and a

wide selection of top-end hotels.

Shearings (shearingsagent.com) has

a four-night holiday at the Park Rotana

Hotel in Abu Dhabi, on a B&B basis, return

transfers in resort, a three-day South

Grandstand ticket to the Grand Prix,

pit lane walk entry, access to the afterrace

concerts, a one-day pass to Ferrari

World plus an Etihad Race Pack. Based

on two sharing and departing the UK on

November 27, prices start at £1,972pp,

including return flights.

Alternative option: You could also suggest the

Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place in April.

The client asks for F1 in Monaco…

…You suggest F1 in Abu

Dhabi

The Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in

Abu Dhabi at the end of November, and

marks the end of the season. This year will

be the 10th year Abu Dhabi has hosted the

The client asks for a long weekend city

break with a focus on arts and dining

in Europe…

…You suggest Muscat

The capital of Oman offers a culturally-rich

mix of history, heritage and culture, which

is celebrated and preserved. A Muscat city

sellingtravel.co.uk


middle east 41

DESERT TRACKS IN OMAN

MIDDLE EAST FEAST IN AJMAN

tour would include a visit to the Grand

Mosque, the markets and souk in Muttrah

and the Sultan’s Palace, which is flanked

by the Portuguese forts Jalali and Mirani,

before finishing with a visit to the Bait Al

Zubair Museum for a look back in time at

Oman’s past. Oman’s cuisine is also topnotch,

whether fine hotel-based dining or

more humble street food.

Gold Medal (goldmedal.co.uk) has three

nights at the five-star Al Bandar at Shangri

La Barr Al Jissah, staying in a deluxe room

on a B&B basis, including return economy

flights with Oman Air from Heathrow and

the Muscat City Tour. Prices start from

£906pp, up to September 30.

Alternative Option: The tiny, oil- and gas-rich

nation of Qatar is gradually increasing its cultural

offerings, including various art galleries and the

National Museum of Qatar.

The client asks for an action-packed

beach holiday in the Mediterranean…

... You suggest Ras Al

Khaimah

Ras al Khaimah, or RAK, is fast-becoming

the adventure capital of the Gulf. The Jebel

Jais Flight zipline is 1.76 miles long and

takes adrenaline junkies on a three-minute

ride over spectacular rocky terrain.

RAK is the northernmost emirate and

the nearest to Oman. If your client wants

an idea of how Dubai was 30 years ago

suggest here. It has the desert and beach

but without the high-rises and traffic. It

also has a burgeoning luxury hotel scene,

with a focus on eco-resorts. Next year sees

the opening of The Anantara Resort in

Mina Al Arab. An eco-sanctuary, It will have

300 rooms, suites and over-water villas in

sthe style of a property in the Maldives.

An InterContinental is also due to open

in Mina al Arab, followed by eight more

hotels in 2021.

If Only (ifonly.net) has five nights at the

five-star deluxe Waldorf Astoria Ras Al

Khaimah, in a Classic Room, including

complimentary half-board and return

flights with Emirates from £939pp.

Alternative Option: Neighbouring Oman is even

less developed, especially in the rugged Musandam

Peninsula, and is world famous for its spectacular

scuba diving.

The client asks for a luxury break in

the Caribbean with lots of activities

for the kids…

…You suggest Dubai

Compared to the Caribbean, Dubai

involves a shorter flight and often more

competitive deals for flights and hotels.

Sheryl Makin, Director of the Luxury

Travel Boutique, was asked to find a beach

holiday for a family with musts including

“The Gulf has performed

fantastically well as an

overall destination since

the beginning of 2019

Iain Raeper, If Only

a warm climate, a golf destination, some

interest for foodies and lots of activities

for young adults. She says: “They were

thinking Caribbean but I quoted four hotels

in Dubai and they liked the new Mandarin

Oriental best. This option is perfect for

them as they have a huge choice of golf

courses and packages which I can pre-book

for them. They are also keen on racing

so I’m looking in to a day at Meyden race

course for them.

“There are endless suggestions for

activities and days out for the adult sons,

from a snow dome to water parks and

dune buggy excursions.”

Lusso Travel (lussotravel.com) is offering

six nights at the Mandarin Oriental Dubai

for four people, half-board with transfers,

and return economy flights with Emirates

for £3,415pp, departing in December 2019.

Alternative option: Ajman is also worth

considering for a fly-and-flop holiday with hotelbased

activities. It’s easily accessible from Dubai,

just a 40-minute drive along the coast, but still

relatively unknown.

sellingtravel.co.uk


Visit USA News

THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES FROM VISIT USA MEMBERS • VISITUSA.ORG.UK

COSMOS

READY FOR

TALL U.S.

STORIES

Cosmos has

launched new

North America

tours with 2020

departures. A

special

departure, The

Classic New

England - 400th

Mayflower

Anniversary tour,

departs August

31. Guests will

step aboard the

Mayflower II, a

full-scale

reproduction of

the tall ship.

Prices start from

£1,665pp (tour

only) for the

10-day tour.

cosmos.co.uk.

Visit USA plans UK road trip

The popular annual Visit USA Roadshow will be making stops in three

UK cities this autumn. The events – in Glasgow (October 1), Leeds

(October 2) and London (October 3) – will include a speed-networking

format designed to maximise the networking opportunities.

Over 30 Visit USA exhibitors and agents will exchange information

and discuss business opportunities.

But the Roadshow is not all about improving USA product knowledge:

food and drink will be provided and goody bags and a holiday to the

USA will be up for grabs at each location.

Prizes include United Airlines flights to New York, a seven-night

Cruise America RV Rental and a stay at the Moxy NYC Times Square

(Glasgow); Virgin Atlantic flights to Las Vegas, staying at Planet

Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino (Leeds); and Delta Air Lines

flights to Boston, staying at the Moxy Boston Downtown (London).

Agents can register for the roadshows at: visitusaroadshow.com

Pittsburgh spin

Kennywood Amusement

Park, located a short drive

from downtown Pittsburgh, opened

The Steel Curtain roller-coaster this

summer. The ride sets a North

American record for the most

inversions (nine) and a world record

for the tallest inversion.

visitpittsburgh.com

Mammoth on a high

Mammoth Lakes, California,

has opened the steepest zipline

experience in the U.S. The

Mammoth Mega Zip sees riders hitting

speeds of up to 60mph as they drop

2,100ft in either a seated or ‘Supermanstyle’

harness. There are two parallel

cables, which means riders can race

down the high wire side by side during

the one-mile acceleration to the

resort’s Adventure Centre.

mallofamerica.com

Delta's seat pitch

Delta will launch its new

Business Class seat and its

new international Premium Economy

cabin, Premium Select, on UK routes

in November. They will feature on the

Heathrow to Atlanta route from

November 13, Heathrow to New York

JFK, November 17, and Heathrow to

Boston, November 21. delta.com

BLOG With iconic sites in every state,

great food representing just about every

country in the world, world-class theme

parks, waterparks, wildlife refuges and

even an interactive national museum

devoted to the history of toys (in New

York State), there's no better choice for a

family holiday than the USA.

More Blog content at visitusa.org.uk/Blog

Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update for the pick of members' news


SPOTLIGHT

ON...

IN CELEBRATION OF ITS THRIVING ARTS SCENE,

FORT LAUDERDALE UNVEILED THE FIRST

VISIT LAUDERDALE X LONDON ART SWAP THIS

SUMMER. IT FEATURES UK STREET ARTISTS

THE GRAFFITI KINGS, WHO VISITED FORT

LAUDERDALE AND THEN CREATED A MURAL

FOR A UK AUDIENCE sunny.org

FOR THE

ULTIMATE

BIRD'S EYE

VIEW OF U.S.

ICONS LIKE

NIAGARA

FALLS AND

THE STATUE

OF LIBERTY...

Check out these

flight-seeing

members of

Visit USA UK

• Maverick Aviation

Group, Grand

Canyon & Las Vegas

• Papillon Grand

Canyon Helicopters

• Skydive the Grand

Canyon

• Sundance

Helicopters

Visitors love pull of Virginia

Half a century after the ‘Virginia is For Lovers’ slogan was first created, it

remains one of the best-known of tourism slogans.

So said Rita McClenny, President & CEO at Virginia Tourism Corporation,

during a recent visit to London for trade and media appointments.

“Our For Lovers slogan is all-encompassing and has meant a lot of

different things to a lot of different people over the years.

"It also means a love of our mountains, a love of our beaches, a love of

our wineries…and so much more,” added McClenny.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, cities and counties across

Virginia are joining in the fun in their own special ways.

For example, located along Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, The Crooked

Road, Floyd County, will celebrate 50 Years of Love with 50 days of

special events, promotions and products. The celebration kicks off on

July 27 at FloydFest and closes on September 14 at the County Fair.

capitalregionusa.org

Discover

Puerto Rico

LEAH CHANDLER

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

DISCOVER PUERTO RICO

When did Discover Puerto

Rico join Visit USA?

We were a member in the

past but rejoined in July.

What did you join?

We need to increase brand

awareness amongst the UK

travel trade and ensure key

trade contacts are aware

that Discover Puerto Rico

has representation in the

UK. Other benefits include

joining the Visit USA

Roadshow and being

included in the Visit USA

Travel Planner, read by both

the trade and consumers.

How well do you think the

trade know Puerto Rico?

Having conducted a trade

forum at our offices in July,

it's apparent that Puerto

Rico is a destination which

is not well known amongst

the UK trade. Education is a

key initial step in our

upcoming trade activity. We

will be conducting various

training, webinars and

hosting product managers

on a FAM trip to experience

Puerto Rico first-hand.

Sum up Puerto Rico for us

There's a rich history and

culture which has emerged

from a mix of Taíno,

Spanish and African

traditions. Also, exceptional

food, pristine beaches, a

tropical rainforest and a

vibrant music scene.

discoverpuertorico.com

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


DON'T

MISS OUT...

Register

today!

Develop your USA experience

REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND • VISITUSAROADSHOW.COM

Win one of

three fantastic

trips to the

USA!

NEW YORK, BOSTON

OR LAS VEGAS

GLASGOW

• United Airlines

to NEW YORK

• 7 nights Cruise

America RV Rental

• Stay at the Moxy

NYC Times Sqaure

LEEDS

• Virgin Atlantic

to LAS VEGAS

• Stay at the Planet

Hollywood Las

Vegas Resort &

Casino

LONDON

• Delta Air Lines

to BOSTON

• Stay at the Moxy

Boston Downtown

THE VISIT USA 2019 ROADSHOW will

take place in Glasgow, Leeds and London

during the early evening of October 1, 2

and 3 respectively. The popular events

have been designed to maximise the

networking opportunities for both agents

and exhibitors. All three Roadshows are

being held in selected premium hotels where

GLASGOW

Tuesday October 1

RADISSON BLU GLASGOW

THE VENUES

LEEDS

Wednesday October 2

LEEDS MARRIOTT HOTEL

30 Visit USA exhibitors and agents can

exchange information and discuss business

development opportunities. Food and drink

will be provided. The format will include

speed networking - which will see agents

visiting all exhibitors – goody bags and a

holiday to the USA will be up for grabs at

each location (see left for prize details).

Early evening, from 6pm onwards

2019 EXHIBITORS

LONDON

Thursday October 3

CANARY RIVERSIDE PLAZA HOTEL

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MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF TRAVEL & TOURISM • MAVERICK AVIATION GROUP, GRAND CANYON & LAS VEGAS • NEW ORLEANS & COMPANY AND

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SANTA MONICA TRAVEL AND TOURISM • TENNESSEE TOURISM • THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL • TRAVEL PORTLAND •

TRAVEL TEXAS • UNITED AIRLINES • UNIVERSAL PARKS & RESORTS • VIRGIN ATLANTIC/DELTA AIR LINES • VISIT HOUSTON •

VISIT NORTH CAROLINA • VISIT SEATTLE • VISIT WEST HOLLYWOOD

Register now

Attend one of the Roadshows by visiting

visitusaroadshow.com


spotlight on 45

Talking...

JA

Resorts

& Hotels

In conversation with... Thomas Grundner, Vice

President Sales & Marketing, JA Resorts and Hotels

QTell us about the JA brand

A: With a 38-year history as a

homegrown hospitality brand, we’ve now

announced major expansion plans. Our

company vision is to be recognised as

the leading provider of unique getaway

experiences in remarkable

locations around the Indian

Ocean and key global

destinations. We

create memories

across eight distinct

properties, from

snorkelling in

a coral reef to

mountain ziplining

to exploring

global cuisines.

QCan you sum

up the ethos of JA

Resorts & Hotels?

A: Do the work you love

and love the work you do. Our

management style is ‘the JA Way’, which

encourages associates to embrace

individuality and work with positivity–

because they truly love what they do.

It helps us stand out and be fluid as we

navigate change.

QWhat are your USPs?

A: The variety of unique experiences

we offer, the relaxed JA Way service

and our locations. JA Hatta Fort Hotel is

Dubai’s only mountain resort; we have two

luxurious private islands in the Seychelles

and Maldives, and two prime Dubai

locations in Jumeirah Beach Residence and

Dubai’s largest experiential resort,

JA The Resort.

QHow do you help

agents?

A: We recently

launched an online

training course for

UK travel agents

to highlight our

product. We have

strong UK sales

representation

through Gill Shannon

and Louisa Smith,

ensuring the trade is

educated on the portfolio.

Fam trips are hosted throughout the

year and we offer verified agent discounts

on jaresorts.com using the code JATRAV.

QWhat is JA’s policy on sustainability?

A: It’s very important. We are

removing all plastic bottles, replacing them

with our own bottling plants and glassware

and rolling out a food wastage programme

which will reduce our waste drastically.

QWhat are the latest developments

agents need to know?

A: JA The Resort is Dubai’s largest

experience resort, and by September

2019 JA Beach Hotel will be completely

renovated and the new JA Lake View Hotel

will open. These additions make it a world

class, all-encompassing resort with one

million square metres of land and private

beach, a 104-berth marina and a nine-hole

golf course. There are over 40 activities like

water sports, fishing, seaplanes, tennis and

shooting, plus 25 restaurants and bars.

QWhat does the future hold for JA and

do you plan to expand anywhere else?

A: We are expanding into China in a joint

venture and are launching five or six very

upscale hotels, as well as 30-plus upper

midscale lifestyle hotels called ‘Big Bed by

JA’. We will also open two luxury lodges in

Tanzania and are exploring a 500-room

property in Sri Lanka.

sellingtravel.co.uk


YOUR GUIDE TO

selling Canada

TOURISM PEI/PAUL BAGLOLE

CONTENTS • 48 Rendez-vous trade show news • 52 Travel talk: Maureen Riley,

Destination Canada • 53 City profile: Toronto • 54 My trip in... Ontario

• 57 Alberta • 58/60 In the Gallery: Travel Counsellors and Prestige Holidays

sellingtravel.co.uk


SELLING CANADA

48

Rendez-vous 2019

TORONTO, CANADA, MAY 28-31

Canada is all heart

Steve Hartridge reports from Canada’s annual tourism marketplace

UK numbers fall

but leisure visitors

remain robust

Overall UK visitor arrivals in

Canada in 2018 were down

by 3.3% – but the number of

leisure travellers reached a

five-year peak of 292,000.

While Brexit concerns

weighed on consumer

confidence and acted as a

drag on long-haul outbound

travels for business trips

and trips to visit friends and

relatives, holidaymakers

kept travelling to Canada.

Demand for travel to

Canada was the highest

between May and June for

leisure travellers.

PARKS CANADA/DALE WILSON

New brand goes with glow

Destination Canada’s new-look

logo and marketing slogan

taps into travellers’ passion for

Canada and better connects them

to the emotional side of their

experiences in the country, said

tourism officials.

The new slogan, ‘for glowing hearts/

le coeur grand ouvert,’” replaces the

old tagline, ‘keep exploring/explorez

sans fin’, which was in use for more

than a decade.

“Nike and Apple are both

examples of companies that

have nurtured an emotional

attachment to their brands but

Canada is also a brand, a ‘passion

brand’,” said David Goldstein,

Heritage Park shows visitors plenty of summer spirit

Destination Canada’s departing

Chief Executive.

“Previously travel was about

destination icons, then it became

about collecting travel experiences

but now it is transformative, in that

travel helps both change you and

becomes a part of you,” he said.

Travel should change you and

our promise is that Canada will

leave a lasting mark on your heart.”

“In the last five years we have seen

phenomenal visitor growth of an

average of 6% year on year. I would

like to think we have portrayed

Canada as open, welcoming and

receptive – a place for glowing

hearts,” Goldstein added.

Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living historic

theme park, has a new after-hours tour this

summer that shows plenty of spirit. Starting from

Wainwright Saloon, in the Calgary park’s 1910

Village, guests on the Spirits of the West Ghost Tour

and Whisky Tasting enjoy a Prohibition-era whisky

cocktail before being taken to spooky locations,

including many where guests or staff claim to

have experienced some ‘paranormal activity’. The

evening ends with a gourmet three-course dinner.

heritagepark.ca

RVC 2019 IN BRIEF

Tourism Toronto’s new

destination marketing

campaign, ‘Let Yourself

In’ was launched as the

city celebrated another

record year in visitation,

having welcomed 44

million travellers in 2018.

“Toronto is the front

door to Canada, and our

message to travellers is

simple – Let Yourself In,”

said Jon Mamela, Executive

Vice President and Chief

Marketing Officer.

seetorontonow.com

Rivers Edge is a 12-room,

four-star hotel earmarked

for the waterfront area in

Whitehorse, Yukon. The First

Nations-themed project will

start construction next spring.

Westjet flies to Whitehorse

from Calgary four times a

week, until September 22.

trade.travelyukon.com

‘Neanderthal’ is a major

new exhibition at the

Canadian Museum of

History, in Gatineau, Québec.

The rare fossils and artifacts

include four Neanderthal

skulls and a hand axe made

of rock crystal. ‘Neanderthal’

runs until January 26, 2020.

historymuseum.ca

For the third year running

Rendez-Vous Canada set

a new attendance record

with over 1,900 delegates

including 46 UK buyers. The

31,600 appointments was

also a record. Next year’s

show will be held in Québec

City, Québec, from May 5-8.

sellingtravel.co.uk


SELLING CANADA

Rendez-vous 2019 49

UK visitors are

loving cruising in

Canada

Toronto is proving a hit

among UK visitors renting

an RV vehicle, says Tracy

Thompson, Cruise Canada’s

International Sales &

Marketing Manager.

“Our 11-day Classic Ontario

Circle Tour, which also takes

in Georgian Bay, Algonquin,

1000 Islands, Ottawa and

the Muskoka Lakes region is

selling well,” said Thompson.

Agents can book the tour

through operators such as

Canadian Affair, Travelpack

and First Class Holidays.

“Last year was our best yet

out of the UK market - and

we have been here for 47

years. And 2019 will be up

again. Camping, glamping

and sleeping under the stars

in the heart of the Canadian

wilderness is really growing

in popularity right now.”

cruiseamerica.com

Older travellers have day

Destination Canada UK’s main

consumer target audience is to

shift from Millennials – those

aged between 22-37 – to those 45

and over, Rupert Peters, Regional

Managing Director, Europe and

to do that are the Generation Xers

(those born between the mid-

1960s and the early-1980s) and

the Baby Boomers (born between

1946 and 1964),” Peters added.

“Finally, our key tour operator

India told Selling Travel.

partners and our Canada

“We are going to go after a Specialist travel agents also have

slightly older audience than the over-45s as their core target

previously. After drilling down

our data we know that about twothirds

of our existing travellers

fall into the over-45 bracket.

“Also, I think Millennials are

more likely to be spooked by

the Brexit uncertainty than an

older audience. We have other

challenges, such as encouraging

more travellers to visit in our

audience, so we need to ensure

our approach is the same to create

as much synergy there as we can.”

Peters noted that older travellers

are more likely to be ‘cultural

explorers or learners’, that is

people who want to discover or

learn something on their holiday.

“Another of our themes is that if

you learn something about Canada

‘shoulder seasons’, and the you will likely learn something

demographic groups most likely about yourself,” he said.

Trade is Canadian

Affair’s new love

Canadian Affair has

partnered with Cunard to

offer a Vancouver and Alaska

Cruise Holiday combination

in its 2020 programme,

which is now on sale.

The 12-night Journey

of Discovery tour, which

has prices starting from

£1,568pp, includes two

nights in Vancouver, a

10-night full-board Alaska

Cruise with Cunard, and

direct return flights from

Gatwick to Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Canadian

Affair, which started selling

through the trade only last

October, has had such a

favourable pick up from

operators and agents that it

has boosted its trade team.

Helen Tate and Stephanie

Robertson are new

regional Travel Trade Sales

Executives, reporting to the

company’s new Travel Trade

Manager, Jane Fraser.

canadianaffair.com

GREG FUNNELL

SAVE ON 4

TOP ATTRACTIONS

JOURNEY BEHIND THE FALLS

NIAGARA’S FURY · WHITE WATER WALK

HORNBLOWER NIAGARA CRUISES

BEGINS HERE

PLUS · Two consecutive days of WEGO transportation

All prices in Canadian dollars. Taxes not included.

All information subject to change without notice.

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CONTACT GROUPS@NIAGARAPARKS.COM


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Rendez-vous 2019 51

Le Boat has early

incentives for 2020

In Pursuit of Rockies tours

Take the Scenic

way to Canada

Le Boat, the self-drive river

Scenic Luxury Cruises &

cruise operator, has an early-

Tours has plenty of Canada

bird incentive for trips on

tour options in its new 2020

Ontario’s Rideau Canal.

Natural Wonders of The

Its 2020 Canada

Americas touring collection.

programme has a booking

New is a 17-day Western

discount of up to 20%

Canada Wildlife, Wineries &

for travel secured before

the Rockies itinerary.

September 2 2019 for

The tour will see visitors

departures next year.

exploring the Okanagan

The offer applies to all boat

wine country, including a visit

types, including the state-of-

to a Syilx First Nations band

the art Horizon models.

winery. A stay at the Knight

For example, a seven-night

Inlet floating lodge should

self-catered stay on the

offer close encounters with

Rideau Canal, starting and

wildlife like grizzly bears,

finishing at Le Boat’s base

The Pursuit Collection, parent

hour slow cooked barbecue beef

seals, dolphins and more.

at Smith Falls, on board the

company of Brewster Touring,

brisket, smoked baked pork ribs

Other highlights include

Horizon 1 (which sleeps five),

unveiled several new products

and wild Pacific salmon, amongst

joining astronomers from

and arriving April 11 2020 is

and a key new partnership at

other things.

Jasper Planetarium in Jasper

priced from £1,968 per boat,

Rendez-vous.

The evening, which is bookable

National Park for a Dark Sky

that’s £394pp (was £2,179

New for 2019/20 is a Banff

through operators such as

Experience and a twilight

per boat, saving 20%).

winter sightseeing tour on which

Prestige and Premier, also

supper and a trail ride on

Flights and transfer to the

guests get to sample several iconic

features story-telling and live

horseback or wagon along

boat are not included in the

Canadian winter experiences.

entertainment.

the Bow River, near Banff.

above price.

leboat.co.uk

These include donning

snowshoes at Lake MInnewanka,

Pursuit also announced a new

partnership with Mountain Park

The tour departs May,

June, July and September

walking along the steaming

thermal waters of the hot springs

Lodges, which has added seven

hotel properties to Pursuit’s

2020. Priced from £7,445pp.

Scenic.co.uk

and stopping at the best photo-

Banff Jasper Collection: The

spots in Banff. The daily tour will

run from December 1, 2019 to

March 31, 2020.

Also new is a five-star rustic

dining experience, the Maligne

Canyon Wilderness Kitchen.

Crimson Hotel, Chateau Jasper,

Lobstick Lodge, Marmot Lodge,

Pocahontas Cabins, Pyramid Lake

Resort and Sawridge Inn.

“Pursuit now offers guests

unforgettable and inspiring

PARKS CANADA/SCOTT MUNN

Located close to Jasper, at the

experiences and world-class

trailhead of the canyon, the

lodging,” said David Barry,

restaurant offers a smokehouseinspired

menu that features 16-

President, Pursuit.

pursuitcollection.com

A view to thrill

Niagara Helicopters Flightseeing Tours

Niagara Helicopters

905 357 5672

niagarahelicopters.com


SELLING CANADA

52

travel talk

Trading places

Steve Hartridge catches up with Maureen Riley, Vice

President International, Destination Canada

QWhen did you start your current role?

A: January 6 2019. Previously my

title was Executive Director Industry

Partnerships, Destination Canada.

QWhat are your main responsibilities?

A: My main brief is to work closely

with our nine international offices, with a

focus on the travel trade. I aim to ensure

that each market is properly aligned with

our main marketing and media messages.

QSo the trade is a key channel for you?

A: Absolutely. My background is in

the travel trade. I started off, back in my

university days, as a tour guide. I have

also worked for a receptive tour operator,

so I have an understanding how that

works, and in a travel trade capacity for

Destination Canada in Japan. This has

given me a well-rounded understanding

of what tour operators are looking for

when they are trying to develop a strong

Canadian programme.

QWhat goals have you set yourself?

A: I think it is crucial that more of

our industry understands the value of the

trade and the value it brings to Canada.

And our Canadian partners need to

better understand how they can be more

proactive and efficient when working with

international tour operators.

It is wonderful to have beautiful

campaigns that resonate with consumers,

but if after whetting their interest those

people can’t turn around and book that trip

to Canada, we are not fulfilling our full brief.

So I want to see, over the next couple

of years, the travel trade and consumers

more in step, so that we are not just

driving ideas and products towards

consumers but are also working with tour

operators to better understand what their

clients are looking for. Ultimately this will

result in better product and more effective

marketing campaigns for all of us.

QAnything else on your ‘wish list’?

A: Over the last three years or so

I have worked very closely with the

Indigenous Tourism Association of

Canada (ITA). I have had some wonderful

opportunities to engage with First Nations

communities and experience some of

the new and upcoming product, which is

really exciting.

I always leave these experiences with

a different perspective. It is my fervent

wish that more of these products become

known to our international visitors.

QDo you identify any main challenges?

A: We need to boost visitation in our

shoulder seasons or ‘off months’.

The challenge is that travellers want to

travel when they want to travel. Also, they

might not be aware of what is available in

Canada year round, so my aim is to help

grow that awareness. We also have to

work closely with our partners to make

sure enough desirable product is actually

available in those slower months.

QDo you have any favourite Canadian

travel memories to share with us?

A: I have been lucky enough to live in or

travel to most regions of the country.

I am originally from Montréal (pictured)

and that city will always have my heart.

When I was young I used to explore a lot

of Canada with my family; we were big

into camping.

I love the Muskoka Lakes area

(big picture) of Ontario, with

its wide-open spaces. It also

has some excellent hotels and

lodges. I am not a hardcore

outdoors person and like to

combine Canada’s great outdoors

with some creature comforts!

I also always enjoy the Canadian

Rockies. The mountains seem to go on

and on, and always inspire me.

Q What’s top of your still-to-see list?

A: I would like to do some hiking in

Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon in

the autumn. It is where the tundra and

the forest meet and the colours are

spectacular. At night there’s the chance to

see the colours of the aurora borealis.

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SELLING CANADA

city profile 53

Toronto

Take a sporting chance on Canada’s most diverse and

well-rounded city says Steve Hartridge

CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION

Top stops

Historic Distillery

District

This artsy enclave of

galleries, boutique

shops – buy designer

footwear

at Fluevog –and

restaurants is set

amongst red-brick

Victorian buildings.

St. Lawrence

Market

A real bustling

working market in a

historic building, this

is the place for those

souvenir bottles of

maple syrup,

mustards, jams and

more.

Museum of

Illusions

Designed to ‘trick’ your

senses this interactive

attraction with 80

visual and sensual

illusions is a one-stop

visit for fun and

entertainment.

Theatre land

Toronto makes a

great alternative to

Broadway. Among

the shows playing

this summer are

Come From Away and

Waitress, Hamilton

starts a run

next February.

Square One

Shopping Centre

Near the airport, the

centre has 320-plus

outlets. It runs a

Tourist Privileges

scheme, with savings

– pick up a pamphlet

from an information

kiosk and promotions.

There are few things that can pull a

city or nation closer together than a

sporting triumph – and Toronto was

a city whose residents seemed to

be collectively living and breathing

basketball when I visited in May.

Sporting life

Its professional basketball team had

reached the National Basketball

Association’s (NBA) final for the first time,

and Toronto was literally in Raptors.

The sports bars in the lively

Entertainment District and the pubs down

by the Waterfront were overflowing with

people wearing t-shirts with the team’s ‘We

The North’ motif. The parties got longer

and louder after I left, as the Raptors

became the first Canadian team to win the

title, setting off an outpouring of city and

national pride.

Although Toronto doesn’t have

to go through hoops to

attract visitors – last year

was another record year

with the city welcoming

44 million travellers –

sport is one of its many

draw cards. The Raptors

and ice hockey’s Maple

Leaves both play in the

Scotiabank Arena, on the

edge of downtown, whilst

baseball’s Blue Jays pitch up at the

Rogers Centre.

My hotel is the Royal York Hotel, a

Fairmont property, which is coming to the

end of a huge refurbishment. Royal York

is ideally located and immediately across

from Union Station, the starting point for

the epic cross-country train,The Canadian.

Toronto’s islands

Leaving Royal York, I stroll down Front

Street, to the recently renovated CN

Tower. A glass-fronted elevator takes me

to the lookout level, 1,116 feet above the

ground, in less than a minute.

From the three new observation level

windows, the views of the city and planes

taking off from the domestic Billy Bishop

City Airport are sensational.

A little-known fact is that Toronto has

islands, located just a few minutes away

from downtown. So after leaving Ripley’s

Aquarium of Canada, with its sharks and

stingrays, to another day, I make the short

walk down to the ferry terminal at The

Waterfront for the 10-minute

crossing to Toronto Island Park.

I pick up my bike and

cycle past some of the 260

cottage-style homes on the

island – actually more than

a dozen small islands linked

by bridges - along the seawall

that protects the park from a

black and restless Lake Ontario.

There are walking and bike trails,

a wading pool, beaches, restaurants and a

petting farm. But perhaps the best reason

for visiting are the views across the water

of Toronto’s skyline.

If the shoe fits

Back on the ‘mainland’ I take the subway

line to Ontario’s Parliament buildings and

then make the short walk to the Royal

Ontario Museum, with its collection of

dinosaurs and ancient artifacts.

I drop into the Gardiner Museum, with

its cool ceramic art, and the Bata Show

Museum, which traces the history of

footwear from Neanderthal deerskin slipons

to the boots worn by astronauts on

the moon. torontonow.com

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SELLING CANADA

54

my trip in...Ontario

great

outdoors

Touring options aplenty await just a few

hours’ drive from Toronto, discovers

Steve Hartridge

Iam standing on the edge of

woodland, sipping a digestionassisting

tea made from infused wild

mint and raspberries, the fruits of our

afternoon ‘medicine walk’ with a First

Nations-owned tour company called the

Great Spirit Circle Trail.

As we nibble on ‘bannock bread’, made

from ground roots, corn, wheat and berries,

I hear all about the health-enhancing

properties of the herbs, plants and shrubs

in the forest.

“It took me seven years to understand the

benefits of the botanicals that surround

us. These have been passed down through

the generations,” said our host and

guide, Falcon Migwans, an Ojibway of the

M’Chigeeng First Nation.

“They are the gift of life itself, and help us

connect to the spirits around us. Everything,

even the tiniest flower or wild herb, is

connected and has a spirit, That is why we

start each walk with a spiritual cleanse,

where we inhale the burning essence of

white cedar, sweetgrass, sage and tobacco.”

After peeling a small layer of cedar bark,

Falcon applies the sap to his forearm and

says: “This is a natural skin adhesive, and

works faster than stitches.”

I am on Manitoulin Island, the world’s

largest freshwater island, in Northeastern

Ontario. Botanists think that more than 80%

of all the herbs, plants and flower varieties

in Canada can be found on Manitoulin.

About six driving hours north of Toronto,

the island is also home to six First Nations

tribes, who are slowly gearing up to tourism.

Visitors can sign up for the medicine

walks – “everything in the forest has either

a spiritual, healing, practical or edible use,”

says Falcon – or hike the ‘Cup and Saucer

Trail,’ which leads to the 70-metre-high East

Lookout, a part of the Niagara Escarpment.

Or they can enrol in an outdoor wilderness

experience camp or enjoy a one-hour

moon teaching, where a guide explains

the Aboriginal Calendar and the 13 moon

teachings by using a turtle’s shell.

Heartbeat of a Nation

In summer, Canoe Heritage Tours help

visitors connect with the spirits of water

and sunsets as they paddle through the

heart of Manitoulin on a labyrinth of inland

lakes and rivers. Guides on this Canadian

Signature Experience (CSP) reveal much

about the island’s history and folklore and

pass on wilderness survival techniques.

For a more immersive experience, guests

can drop into one of the several annual

pow wows (or gatherings) between June

and September, featuring drums, dances,

‘heritage interpretations’ and local foods.

There’s also a glamping option, in a Tee

Pee, which includes a ‘Voice of the Drum’

experience.

Earlier that morning, on the two-hour ferry

crossing from Tobermory, Falcon explained

to a captive audience the significant role

drums play in First Nations’ culture.

Tapping out a series of beats on a circle of

taught white-tailed deerskin, he illustrated

how the central rhythm is just like a

heartbeat – one, two… one, two…one, two…

one, two... one, two.

“The heartbeat is at the centre of

everything – the heartbeat of our existence,

the heartbeat of mother earth, the

heartbeat of our nation…even our dancers,

who stand in the centre of a circle of people,

take two steps on every foot, to replicate the

same rhythm,” he said.

The Great Spirit Circle Trail has big growth

plans: it is to develop a woodlands area

into a First Nations museum and hopes to

introduce wig-wam style lodges next year.

Great Spirit Circle Trail is a member of

the Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

organisation that works to promote

indigenous-owned tourism products and

experiences. According to ITO’s Executive

Director, Kevin Eshkawakogan, there are

now more than 600 such tourism products

CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION

FLOWERPOT ISLAND

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my trip in...Ontario 55

CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION

BLUE HERON CRUISES, TOBERMORY

HIKING ON MANITOULIN ISLAND

in Ontario although only around 35 of these

are ‘export ready’, meaning geared up for

the international market.

Tobermory

Tobermory is a small town located at the tip

of the Bruce Peninsula. Once a lumber and

fishing community, today it is best-known as

the gateway to two national parks: Fathom

Five National Marine Park (Canada’s first

national marine park) and Bruce Peninsula

National Park.

Restaurants, gift shops, unique stores, a

brewery and an all-you-can-eat fish and chip

shop horseshoe around the town’s quaint

Little Tub Harbour.

One of the popular ways to experience

the park’s crystal-clear waters and rocky

shorelines is by taking a glass-bottom

boat tour around several islands that sit in

Fathom Five National Park.

This is an area of over 20 shipwrecks,

many close to the water’s surface, and a few

minutes out of Little Tub Harbour on our

Blue Heron Cruise we see two of these.

FALCON MIGWANS ON A MEDICINE WALK

The Sweepstakes was a

two-masted schooner that ran

aground in 1885, she was towed into an

inlet and stripped of most of her rigging,

equipment and cargo of coal before she

sank. But her 36.3-metre hull is intact and

our boat passes what seems like just metres

above it.

Close by is another sunken vessel, The

City of Grand Rapids, a 37-metre passenger

steamship that once called in at ports on

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It caught fire

in 1907 and was towed out of Tobermory

harbour and released.

The cruise stops at Flowerpot island,

where guests can get off and stroll the

15 minutes to the flowerpot-shaped

limestone formations. Some of the cedar

trees clinging to the cliffs are over 1,500

years old, making them among the oldest

living trees in the world. Animals like red

squirrels, snowshoe hares, otter and

beavers inhabit most of the islands.

We see bald eagles, ospreys and turkey

vultures. But not any of the black bears

which live on Cove Island, the largest

island in Fathom Five. The bears have been

spotted swimming across to the mainland.

A five-minute drive out of Tobermory

brings us to the visitor centre of Bruce

Peninsula National Park – and an impressive

one it is too, with a short video and walkthrough

gallery that explains the geology,

history and wildlife of the park.

Several walking trails fan out from here

and from other access points further down

Highway Six. They all lead to majestic cliffs

and bright-blue waters. It’s also a home

to orchids, ferns, cliffside cedars and

endangered flowers. Trails have the same

difficulty designation as Canada’s ski runs:

Top tips

How to get there

British Airways (batraveltrade.

com) operates daily flights to Toronto

International Airport from both Heathrow

and Gatwick. The flying time is around eight

hours. The Toronto Express to downtown

departs the airport every 30 minutes.

Ontario Touring

Suggest a seven-day touring itinerary

that takes in Blue Mountain Resort,

Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula National

Park, Manitoulin Island and Toronto. For

extra days recommend the Muskoka Lakes

region, one of Ontario’s premier ‘getaway’

destinations. For clients with more time

on their hands, Niagara Falls is an easy

add-on to a Toronto city stay.

ontariotravel.net

Where to book it

Prestige Holidays can offer a 12-night

trip, with three nights at the Fairmont

Royal York Toronto, three nights

at Blue Mountain Village, one

night at Tobermory Princess, two nights

at Manitoulin Island Hotel and

three nights at Hidden Valley Huntsville.

Priced from £2605pp, the deal is based on

a June 10 2020 departure and includes

flights from Heathrow with Air Canada, a

full-size four-door car rental.

prestigeholidays.co.uk

GREAT SPIRIT CIRCLE TRAIL

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56

my trip in...Ontario

CANADIAN TOURISM COMMISSION

SCANDINAVE SPA

BLUE MOUNTAIN RESORT

black for difficult, blue for a challenge

and green for an easy stroll.

On this Friday there is a steady

stream of walkers strolling the

easy Georgian Bay Trail, through

woodland and past a marshy

landscape which leads to the

Georgian Bay shoreline and rock

formations called Grotto, and

Natural Arch.

Blue Mountain

It’s around a two-hour drive from

Tobermory to Blue Mountain Resort, an

adventure getaway just three hours north

of Toronto.

Once a smallish resort for domestic skiers,

Blue Mountain has been adding attractions

over the last 10 years or so and is now a

four-season resort, with its international

visitors growing by around 1% each year and

the UK one of its top three markets.

In summer they come for activities that

include mountain walking trails, a mini-golf

course, a zipline and the Ridge Runner

Mountain Coaster. At its centre is a village,

with a small lake and various shops,

boutique outlets, bars – including a craft

brewery – restaurants and a square that

hosts summer concerts.

The resort’s 1,000-plus rooms are split

between a Westin hotel, the Blue Mountain

Inn and various village suites,

I take a gondola to the top of the mountain

for gorgeous views of the southern shores

of Georgian Bay and the resort’s golf course.

Mississauga Lake is just 22 kms away and

is a hotspot for watersports, including

kayaking and fishing for bass and lake trout.

This is also an area for mountain biking,

rock climbing and caves that burrow into

the Niagara Escarpment. These include

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, where

you can try to squeeze through a small gap

called ‘Fatman’s Misery’.

My visit ends at Scandinave Spa, moving

gingerly between a collection of hot and

(very) cold pools, saunas, steam rooms,

hammocks and quiet relaxation areas set

amongst a wooded area.

Take me to the top

Enjoy the #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America!

Come and enjoy a unique global destination

and its many attractions and live an exhilarating

experience at the heart of a picturesque

pedestrian village with undeniable charm.

$31 million investment since 2019:

• Increased snowmaking capacity

• New lift

• Additional trails

• Enhanced activity offer

• And much more!

Book your stay now through your favourite tour operator.

19 YEARS

Untitled-3 1 01/07/2019 09:20


selling canada

alberta 57

Spotlight on...

Calgary’s

First Nations

Princess

Steve Hartridge meets Astokomii Smith, an ambassador

and role model for five southern Albertan indigenous tribes

Spirit of Canada’s west

Visitors to this July’s Calgary Stampede

(5-14) would have spotted the striking

figure of the event’s First Nations Princess.

The honour this year went to 19-yearold

Astokomii Smith, who was chosen

to represent five of Southern Alberta’s

indigenous nations – Kainai, Tsuut’ina,

Stoney Nakoda, Siksika and Piikani – as

well as the indigenous-themed

Elbow River Camp located on

the Stampede grounds.

The selection process

was tough: over a

two-week period

Astokomii – whose

name in Blackfoot

translates to

‘Calling Thunder’

– took part in a

contest which

included public

speaking, dancing,

an exam on Treaty 7

(an agreement between

the Canadian government

and several indigenous tribes in

southern Alberta) and the history of the

Calgary Stampede. She also had to submit

an essay on why she wanted to be the 2019

Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess.

Her mission statement is a heartfelt

one: “I will strive to be a role model for

the younger generation. I believe that our

mental and physical health should be put

first and that education is our new way of

survival,” she said.

At Alberta’s much-loved annual Western

themed event, Astokomii, a Fancy Shawl

dancer from the Siksika First Nation, met

with visitors from around the world to talk

about the people, the animals, the land,

the traditions and the values that make up

the unique spirit of Canada’s west.

Tribe Days

During Stampede week, Elbow

River Camp provides the

venue for each tribe to

share part of their

culture with the

public on a specific

day, comprising

Tribe Days. The

demonstrations

include dancing,

storytelling, meat

cutting, beadwork

and other traditions.

The camp’s 26 tipis

each have a unique

design on the outside and

beadwork, buckskin outfits

and artifacts are displayed on the

inside. When visitors enter the camp, they

can experience many important aspects

of First Nations peoples, like interpretive

programmes, flag raising, powwows,

traditional storytelling and games.

And although the dust has now settled

on the Stampede for another year

Astokomii’s role, as an ambassador and

role model, will continue throughout 2019.

She will make many appearances locally,

nationally and internationally throughout

her reign, educating those she meets about

First Nations cultures and sharing her

knowledge of Treaty 7, as well as attending

many First Nation events, powwows,

ceremonies and ‘honourings’ in Alberta.

First Nations experiences

Outside of Stampede Week, there are

many opportunities for visitors to immerse

themselves in First Nations culture.

For example, in Tipi Village at Blackfoot

Crossing on the Siksika Nation, about

100km east of Calgary, they can enjoy a tipi

sleepover and learn about survival skills,

meat smoking and hide tanning.

The Glenbow Museum, in downtown

Calgary, has a year-round exhibition about

the Blackfoot people called Niitsitapiisini:

Our Way of Life, where you can learn how

the Blackfoot people live.

Or visit the site at Head-Smashed-In

Buffalo Jump, where buffaloes were

hunted and learn why they were so

important to First Nations people.

Those looking to take home authentic,

traditional native art, such as jewellery,

moccasins and beadwork by local and

Canadian artists. should visit Moonstone

Creation in Inglewood, a Calgary

neighbourhood. A family-run gallery and

gift shop of curated and created native

goods, Moonstone Creation also offers

classes where you can learn traditional

beadwork, dream catcher and moccasin

making, porcupine quillwork and medicine

wheel teaching.

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SELLING CANADA

58

gallery: travel counsellors

Canada Takeover

Travel Counsellors worked alongside

Destination Canada to host two Canada

‘Takeover Days’ for agents in

Birmingham and London. The events

provided an opportunity for agents to

meet with suppliers and learn more

about what Canada has to offer,

sparking new ideas and knowledge to

inspire and secure future bookings.

“I took so much away from the day and

learned loads. I loved the format and the

itinerary planning – that was genius!”

Heidi Kemsley, TC

JOHANN WALL

Our Travel Counsellors departed our

Canada days armed with a wealth of

new ideas and knowledge - which will

stimulate future bookings”

Samantha Spencer, Commercial Partnerships, Travel Counsellors

TOURISM JASPER

A key takeaway from the day was that

Canada can be sold as a city break,

with flights from the UK to Canada’s

east coast taking less than five hours

JOHAN LOLOS

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A BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPE.

A JAW-DROPPING OFFER.

Have clients planning their 2020 vacation? They won’t want to miss our Unforgettable 4 promotion!

Valid for packages on 5+ nights, they’ll receive up to four of our favourite perks, including

additional hotel nights, airport transfers and dinner, making their time in Western Canada truly

unforgettable! This offer is valid for bookings made before August 31, 2019.

rockymountaineer.com | 0800 088 5541

ALL ABOARD AMAZING


SELLING CANADA

60

gallery: prestige holidays

Prestige celebrates

Canada Day

To mark Canada Day on July 1, Prestige

Holidays hosted 48 agents at BelowZero

in London for an evening of networking

and celebrations. Attendees were

invited to test their knowledge in a

Canada quiz, and were treated to

cocktails from the Ice Bar and classic

Canadian dishes, including poutine.

“Cannon Travel works closely with Prestige

Holidays and has done so for many years. It’s

great to be invited to such an event”

Tracy Williams, Cannon Travel

“We have sold a number of Canada holidays

through other operators but are now looking to build

stronger relationships. We used this event to meet

some of the Prestige team”

Mike Silford, Suitcase Travel

“Canada is a key destination for

Prestige Holidays. We were delighted

with the response from our travel

agents and partners and will definitely

make this an annual event”

Denise Hunn, Director – Canada Tour Operations, Prestige

DESTINATION CANADA

NEED SOME MORE INSPIRATION?

Prestige’s 13-day Atlantic Maritimes escorted coach tour, which takes

in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, starts from

£3,090pp. Highlights include the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Rocks, St.

Andrews by-the-sea, Halifax and Charlottetown. prestigecanada.co.uk

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THE TRAVEL NEWS THAT REALLY MATTERS

JERUSALEM: ISRAEL’S HOLY CITY WIDENS ITS APPEAL

62

62

65

68

LUXURY BOTSWANA

WILDERNESS’ NEW KING’S POOL

CULTURAL CRUISES

A&K’s IMMERSIVE EXPEDITIONS

SHOW REPORT: IPW

HAVE YOU MET PUERTO RICO?

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


62

the review

Premier gift-wraps

festive breaks to

Channel Islands

Premier Holidays has

launched a selection of

Christmas breaks to the

Channel Islands.

The four-night festive break

packages start from £359pp,

based on two adults sharing,

travelling by ferry from Poole

on December 23, or flying

from a range of regional

airports on December 24.

Jersey Christmas breaks

include the four-star Radisson

Blu Waterfront Hotel, with

B&B and half-board on

Christmas Day, from £359pp

by sea or £399pp by air.

In Guernsey, agents can

book Christmas at St Pierre

Park Hotel from £519pp by

sea or £649pp by air, on a halfboard

basis with full-board

on Christmas Day. Agents

earn £5 in vouchers for every

booking (£10 if booked online

before September 30).

trade.premierholidays.co.uk

Jerusalem an all-round city

BY STEVE HARTRIDGE

Jerusalem is fast shedding its

image of a city that appeals to

mainly religious pilgrims and is

now a top city-break destination

scheduled to open in 2019 and a

major new attraction, the Museum

of Tolerance, should be welcoming

visitors by the year’s close.

with a line-up of world-class “For a long time the view

attractions, says the destination’s of Jerusalem was very onedimensional:

tourism boss.

Eli Nahmias, Director – Incoming that it is a holy city for

religious visitors but lacking appeal

Tourism and International for more mainstream tourists.

Relations for the Jerusalem “But increasingly we are being

Development Authority, hosted a

trade event in London to highlight

the ‘new Jerusalem’ and recent

developments in the city.

These include a high-speed rail

line between Ben Gurion Airport in

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem city centre,

seen as an international destination

brimming with cultural attractions,

top hotels and museums, arts,

nightlife and a calendar of great

events,” he added.

Jerusalem’s culinary scene is also

booming, with ‘chef-restaurants’

which opened late last year. A opening at a rapid rate.

billion-pound project, it links A new daily Virgin Atlantic flight

Israel’s two main cities in around

20 minutes.

between Heathrow and Tel Aviv

starts on September 25.

Eighteen new hotels are itraveljerusalem.com

Raffles opens first

Indian Ocean hotel

Raffles has opened its first

Indian Ocean hotel – Raffles

Maldives Meradhoo.

The luxury hotel is located

in the rare Maldivian oasis of

Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

The main island is home

to Beach Villas and Beach

Residences, which opened

this summer with private

pools and a marble bathroom

with a sunken bathtub and

outdoor shower. In each of

the terraces, guests can view

the marine life below through

glass flooring panels.

The Raffles Royal

Residence and a secluded

collection of overwater

villas and residences, which

lie adjacent to one of the

house reefs, reached by a

traditional Maldivian Dhoni

boat, will launch during the

last quarter of this year.

raffles.com

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Wilderness reopens luxury Botswana lodge

Wilderness Safaris’ King’s Pool

Camp has reopened in Botswana’s

Linyanti Wildlife Concession.

The lodge, which has nine

luxurious thatched-roof rooms,

has been built with ecotourism

principles in mind. In keeping

with the company’s commitment

to operating with a light ecofootprint,

the camp is 100% solarpowered.

Activities include game drives,

game walks and helicopter flights.

wilderness-safaris.com


the review 63

Sri Lanka’s fast return

FILITHEYO ISLAND RESORT MALDIVES

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BY STEVE HARTRIDGE

Bookings for Sri Lanka are

returning faster than expected

on a wave of goodwill towards

the country, according to the

chairman of one of its leading

hotel groups.

After the Easter Sunday

bombings, tourist arrivals

slumped 70% in May and 57%

in June compared with a year

earlier, but the green shoots

of a recovery – evidenced by

numbers increasing from 37,802

in May to 63,072 in June – are

already being seen, said Hiran

Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing,

“Our bookings immediately

took a big hit, and we lost

around 500,000 room nights,

but after the Foreign and

Commonwealth Office lifted its

travel advisory to Sri Lanka in

early June we have seen 10,000

new bookings for August alone.”

Jetwing has 23 hotels in Sri

Lanka – including six in Negombo,

one of the cities targeted by the

bombers – and a range of villas.

The renovated Jetwing

Lighthouse in Galle is scheduled

for an August 1 reopening and

a brand-new Jetwing hotel in

Kandy remains on track to be

welcoming guests by the end of

the year, reassured Cooray.

“The support we have received

from UK tour operators, agents,

the media and others has been

overwhelming,” said Cooray.

Turquoise Holidays has a

seven-night stay at Anantara

Tangalle, on the southern

tip of the island, priced from

£1,389pp, on a half-board basis.

VAKARUFALHI MALDIVES

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


64

the review

Inghams looks to

summer 2020

Agents can save their clients

up to £85 per couple for

holidays booked before

September 30 from Inghams’

summer 2020 programme.

A seven-night holiday, on

a half-board basis, at the

five-star Hotel Elisabeth in

Mayrhofen, Austria, starts

from £949pp, based on two

sharing and including flights,

airport transfers and the

early booking discount.

Seven nights at the threediamond,

Inghams-run Hotel

La Sapiniere, in Chamonix,

France, on a catered basis

(including breakfasts,

afternoon tea and evening

meals with complimentary

wine is from £616pp.

inghams.co.uk

BY JESSICA POOK

Rail Discoveries’ Europe & UK

2020 Preview Brochure features

over 50 escorted tours and an

early booking offer.

New for 2020 is the seven-day

Cities & Palaces of Andalucia tour,

from £745pp. The fly-rail holiday

features time in Ronda, guided

tours of Seville and Cordoba, a

tour in Granada, and a visit to

the Alhambra Palace. Included

are flights, internal transport,

breakfast, and three- or four-star

accommodation.

Also new is the six-day Oban,

South African wine estate offers vintage Cape experience

BABYLONSTOREN

Rail travel a true discovery

Isle of Skye & the Sound of Mull,

priced from £545pp. Starting in

Glasgow, the itinerary includes

a journey through the Scottish

Highlands on the West Highland

Line and a trip on the Jacobite

Steam Train (pictured). There’s also

a cruise along the Sound of Mull.

Customers can save up to £60

per booking when selling a 2020

departure on or before August 20

2019. Departures from various

regional UK airports are available

at no additional cost.

raildiscoveries.com

One of South Africa’s leading ‘resort’ wine estates

invited operators and agents to a summer soirée

in London to showcase its latest rosé and put the

word out about one of the Winelands’ leading

visitor attractions.

Babylonstoren’s Cellar Master Charl Coetzee

launched its 2019 harvest of Mourvèdre Rosé

with an epic rosé tower centrepiece.

Located near Franschhoek, Babylonstoren –

which is listed on the UK Condé Naste Gold List –

also features a boutique hotel and spa, a farm

shop and a restaurant with a farm-to-fork menu.

Agents can book the estate – the oldest fruit

farm and vineyard in South Africa, dating back to

1652 – direct or via a specialist UK tour operator.

babylonstoren.com

NEWS TO USE IN BRIEF

November will be a good

time for visitors to be in

Havana, Cuba’s capital. The

city will be celebrating the

500th anniversary of its

founding with street fairs

and festivals. Hotels across

Havana are also planning

their own events.

travel2cuba.co.uk

Prestige Holidays’ new

Madeira and The Algarve

brochure includes the fivestar

Savoy Palace Hotel in

Funchai for the first time.

Prices for a seven-night

B&B stay start from £650pp,

with flights and transfers.

prestigeholidays.co.uk

Kenya, Zambia and South

Africa are featured in a

new three-country tour

from Saga. Masai Mara,

Victoria Falls, the Zambezi

River and Table Mountain

are the highlights of a

13-night option that is

priced from £3,199pp.

The next two departures

are on November 5 2019

and January 14 2020.

saga.co.uk

The Red Carnation Hotel

Collection is to open its

first hotel in Scotland. The

group’s 19th property

worldwide – its portfolio

includes Ruebens in London

and Twelve Apostles in

Cape Town – will occupy

the current 100 Princes

Street Hotel, with views

of Edinburgh Castle.

redcarnation.com

Also in Scotland, Ness

Walk, an exclusive five-star

hotel, has opened in the

Highlands capital, Inverness.

In the heart of the city, the

hotel features Torrish, a

fine-dining restaurant which

uses only local ingredients.

nesswalk.com


the review: cruise 65

Cruise Update

A&K’s cultural cruises

CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF

ANDY HARMER,

CLIA UK &

Ireland Director

Cruise lines are increasingly

focussing on delivering

the best possible cruise

experience, asking ‘what

will our guests love?’ to

create holidays that offer

extraordinary experiences

both onboard and ashore.

Conversations are moving

away from the physical

narrative of a cruise – for

example, sailing across the

Atlantic for a week – towards

what happens onboard and

during the sailing.

When listening to

customers talk about cruises

you’re more likely to hear

experiential references first,

such as visits to private

Caribbean islands, bars

staffed by robots, food

cooked in the restaurant

of a celebrity chef, visiting

relatively unknown and

exotic climes, and a raft of

adventurous adrenalinefilled

sports such as ziplining.

In order to reach yet-tocruise

travellers, we should

change our language to focus

on these experiences, rather

than focussing too much on

‘maritime language’, such as

how many decks a ship has

and the size of the cabins.

So entice more people

to cruise for the first time

by pointing out innovation

in both the onboard

experience and the landbased

excursions.

cruiseexperts.org

BY STEVE HARTRIDGE

Abercrombie & Kent has

expanded its 2020 portfolio of

Luxury Expedition Cruises, a

move it says is in response to

fast-growing interest in immersive

cultural journeys.

The new Cruising the Baltic Sea:

Copenhagen to St. Petersburg (July

16-28, 2020) aboard Le Dumont

d’Urville (limited to 148 guests), will

stop in seven countries: Denmark,

Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia,

Finland and Russia. Guests will

choose from a range of experiences

such as a Nordic food experience

in Stockholm sampling Swedish

specialties from local purveyors, a

Finnish sauna and nature walk and

a cooking class and palace visits in

St. Petersburg. The 13-day cruise

starts from £13,050pp.

A Wonders of Japan Cruise (June

13-26, 2020) will explore Japan’s

four main islands. Those aboard

Le Soleal (limited to 199 guests)

will be treated to a private geisha

performance in Kanazawa’s

Higashi Chaia district, as well as a

private performance by the worldrenowned

Kodo taiko drummers.

The 14-day cruise, priced from

£15,999, also visits Gyeongju,

South Korea.

“Our approach to expedition

cruising is culturally immersive,”

said Bob Simpson, Abercrombie

& Kent’s Vice President, Expedition

Cruising. “We start with selecting

the best ship for a destination, then

craft a thoughtful itinerary that

provides ample time in each port

and offers a good understanding

of the region’s history.”

abercrombiekent.co.uk

Winnie the Whale splashes down on Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has opened

a family water playground on

the top deck of its 3,140-guest

Caribbean Princess.

The Reef Family Splash Zone

includes a water play area, a pool

and a lounge.

Key features are an interactive

water playground (called Winnie

the Whale’s splashpad) with water

sprays and showers, and a spa

and bar area including a family

pool and jacuzzi.

French-owned cruise line

PONANT has joined forces

with Relais & Châteaux to

offer three gourmet cruises in

2020. Relais & Châteaux chefs

will be onboard cruises to

Brittany (September 11),

Canary Islands & Cape Verde

(October 11) and China and

Vietnam (October 28).

ponant.com

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

is to debut more than 200

gourmet plant-based

selections on menus across

its fleet, beginning October 1

2019. New dishes will include

wild mushroom tart, poke

bowls and falafel fritters. rssc.

com

Canadian cruise line One

Ocean Expeditions (OOE) will

again run its eight-day

Scotland and Ireland Golf

Expedition Cruise next

summer after a successful

first sailing this June. Priced

from $5,595pp, it will sail

from Dublin to Leith from

June 6-13.

oneoceanexpeditions.com

The two-day annual CLIA

River Cruise Conference will

return to Amsterdam this

November (10-11) after being

staged in Paris in 2018.

cruiseexperts.org

‘Morgan’s Bar’ has a new childfriendly

mocktail menu with drinks

on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’

and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ .

A 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’

voyage on Caribbean Princess is

priced from £1,599pp. It departs

from Fort Lauderdale on February

2, 2020 and ports of call include

St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts,

Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad

and Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba.

princess.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


your

CARIBBEAN NEWS

THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES FROM THE CARIBBEAN

MEET THE CTO MEMBER

PETER GRACE

Founder and

Owner at Bespoke

Travel Marketing

QWHAT don’t readers

know about your

company? We are the

General Sales Agent in

the UK and Europe of

Atlantis Paradise Island,

Bahamas, and have been

for nearly five years. We

have the simple objective

of showcasing the resort

and ensuring agents and

operators match it with the

right client.

QWHAT are the

benefits of being

a CTO member? Being

part of a community that

is focused on marketing

the entire Caribbean;

great opportunities for

networking; and working

with the CTO on destination

marketing initiatives and

travel agent training.

QWHAT CTO activities

do you get involved

in? We participate in most

CTO events, including 13

UK travel agent roadshow

events this year.

QWHAT’S your top

Caribbean tip?

Look beyond the beach to

understand the depth of

cultural, sporting, culinary

and other activities each

island has to offer. Each has

its own distinct personality,

history and appeal. An

island hopping holiday is a

great way to explore many

destinations in one trip.

The JTB is rewarding agents for selling Jamaica

Win a place on a Jamaica fam

AGENTS already selling holidays to Jamaica have the

chance to win one of 50 places on a fam trip, hosted

by the Jamaica Tourist Board.

The incentive is part of a ‘Sell It & See It’ campaign,

giving agents the chance to experience Jamaica firsthand

so that they can continue to sell the island.

A dedicated romance-themed fam for wedding and

honeymoon specialists will depart from September

12-17 as well as a regular fam from October 10-15.

To be entered into the prize draw, agents need to

make a booking to Jamaica and register it at

jamaicarewards.co.uk. The tourist board

is also rewarding agents with cash

for bookings made.

Jamaica Rewards also provides

access to training sessions,

allowing agents to become

Jamaica Travel Specialists.

BELIZE

has made

rapid steps to

establish itself as a

‘must-see

destination’ among

visitors, says Karen

Leo to make his mark in Belize Bevans, Director of

Tourism for the

Belize Tourism Board. Forthcoming new

product includes a ‘restorative eco-resort’

conceived by actor and environmental

warrior Leonardo DiCaprio, who hopes to

open his property on Blackadore Caye in

2020. travelbelize.org

don’t miss

Agents can meet

with key partners

at the Jamaica Travel

Market B2B tradeshow

in September.

visitjamaica.com

’GREEN FINS’ FOR

ECO-DIVERS

Antigua & Barbuda has

become the second Caribbean

country to implement a

sustainable diving initiative.

Green Fins, an organisation that

aims to protect and conserve

coral reefs, will provide training

to dive operators to help reduce

the environmental impact on

reefs as well as help sustain the

marine tourism industry. It is

thought that 10,000 tourists will

dive under the new guidelines in

the next year. greenfins.net

ROOM SALE FOR

SAINT LUCIA

Agents can save up to

60% off hotel rates as part of the

Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s

‘Summer Specials’ campaign. Bay

Gardens Beach Resort & Spa,

Bay Gardens Hotel, Bay Gardens

Inn and Bay Gardens Marina

Haven are all offering 40% off

when booking and staying

between now and December 19.

Meanwhile, East Winds is offering

25% off as part of a Winter Early

Bird deal, valid for stays

between January 1 - 31 and

March 1 - 31, 2020 when

booked before October 31.

2019. stlucia.org

HAVING

undergone a fiveyear

renovation,

Cobblers Cove in

Barbados is due to

unveil its new look

in October. The

New look for Cobblers Cove transformation

includes the

refurbishment of all rooms, suites and public

spaces, with influences from furniture

designer Soane Britain. The hotel has been

described as ‘one of the chicest places in the

Caribbean’ and embodies British elegance

with Caribbean charm. cobblerscove.com

HOTTEST NEWS

caribbean.co.uk

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


68

the review: trade show report

CALIFORNIA

Golden state of mind

Representatives from all 50 U.S. states met up in Anaheim, California, for

the IPW trade show. Jessica Pook and Sally Parker round up the news JUNE 1-5 2019

Easy travel a

priority for U.S.

Travel Association

The U.S. Travel Association

spoke of plans to reduce

security wait lines and make

the visa system more efficient

by expanding the Visa Waiver

Programme for visitors.

The association, which

stressed how important

international travel is to the

U.S., especially at a time when

America is experiencing a

decline in the global travel

market, has adopted a new

mantra: ‘Travel is trade. Travel

is security. And travel is

commerce’.

U.S. Travel President and

CEO Roger Dow said: “We are

supporting Congress in its

efforts to pass bills such as

the JOLT Act, which would

enable countries like Poland,

Israel, Brazil and others to join

the Visa Waiver Programme.”

Destination D.C. President

and CEO Elliott L. Ferguson II,

said: “We want to encourage

international visitors and

have been working with

officials in Washington to cut

down on wait times and to

make the visa application

system more efficient.”

ustravel.org

New VR tools for Orlando

Virtual tours, including 12 ride

experiences, are now available on

the Visit Orlando website.

personalised recommendations,

discounted tickets.

George Aguel, President and

The visually enhanced site CEO of Visit Orlando said: “Orlando

features 88 virtual reality tours hosted 75 million visitors in 2018,

with 360-degree access.

making it the most visited

Agents can get a ‘taster’ of 12 destination in America. It’s

popular theme park attractions

and ground tours of Downtown

Orlando, as well as the city’s

Convention Centre.

The Visit Orlando Travel Academy

is also to undergo a refresh, with

updated webinars, more video

content and interactive workshops.

Agents can download Visit

Orlando’s new free app to receive

important that agents are fully

aware of all the new experiences

on offer.”

Orlando will host IPW in 2022,

when delegates will experience

new attractions such as Epcot’s

nighttime spectacular and the Star

Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area, which

opens in August.

visitorlando.com

Puerto Rico asks ‘Have we met yet?’

SHOW SHORTS

Jurassic World: The Ride

has opened at Universal

Studios Hollywood.

Riders get to experience

the Indominus Rex and

aquatic Mosasaurus up

close as they peak from

behind a aquarium

observatory tank.

universalorlando.com

The Academy Museum

of Motion Pictures,

designed to celebrate the

making of film, is due to

open at the end of the

year in Los Angeles. It will

feature behind the scenes

footage, props, costumes

and more.

academymuseum.org

Fly Linq in Las Vegas,

the Strip’s only zipline

experience, has just

opened. Adrenalin

enthusiasts can fly 12

storeys above the ground

and land at the world’s

tallest observation wheel,

the High Roller.

caesars.com/linq

Discover Puerto Rico has

launched a new brand

campaign called “Have we met

yet?”

It aims to re-introduce Puerto

Rico to the world following the

devastation caused by

Hurricane Maria in 2017. By

positioning itself as the U.S.

mainland’s “friendly neighbour

to the south” the organisation

hopes to market the island as

‘familiar yet unique’ and

encourage inbound travel.

“Puerto Rico has recovered

and passenger arrivals are now

on par with pre-hurricane

levels,” said Brad Dean, CEO of

Discover Puerto Rico.

discoverpuertorico.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


the review: trade show report 69

INTERVIEW

Ernest Woode,

CEO of Los Angeles

Tourism, tells

Selling Travel why L.A. is for

food and sport lovers.

What’s new in town?

Los Angeles has established

itself as a culinary capital - as

evidenced by the city

dominating the 2019 Michelin

Guide California. We

accounted for 18 of the 27

new restaurants with a onestar

distinction, while six were

awarded two-star status.

Going forward, we plan to use

these credentials to stimulate

demand for food tours and

culinary experiences.

We also have some major

sporting events coming up.

The new Rams stadium, due

to open in 2020, will host the

2022 Super Bowl. L.A. will also

host the opening ceremony

for the 2026 World Cup as

well as the Olympics in 2028.

How key is the UK market?

L.A. is experiencing its eighth

consecutive year of visitor

growth. We’ve actually met

our goal of 50,000 million

visitors two years in advance!

This year we’ve seen a 3%

increase in UK arrivals and are

expecting a subsequent

increase in global visitation

when we host the 2024 IPW

conference. Brand USA is

working hard to ensure that

America is a must-see

destination and I do believe

that the U.S. as a whole will

experience visitor growth,

despite recent (poor) figures.

Food for thought

The 2019 Michelin Guide California -

the first Michelin guide to focus on

across the state are a true

testament to the diverse and

a specific region of the U.S. - was creative culinary scene in

publicised during IPW in Anaheim

at a ‘reveal event’ in Huntington

Beach, and includes 90 Michelinstar

California,” said Visit California

President & CEO Caroline Beteta.

“From three-star restaurants to

eateries state-wide.

hole-in-the-wall taco shops,

Until this year, the guide only

covered restaurants in the San

California’s cuisine is fuelled by

an abundance of freshness, a

Francisco Bay area but has now fearless attitude and an

expanded to include Los Angeles,

San Diego, Orange County, Santa

excitement for experimentation

and innovation.”

Barbara, Monterey and Visit California is also

Sacramento as well.

Included is the world’s only twostar

highlighting the state’s self-drive

appeal as part of its ‘Road Trip

Mexican restaurant: Republic’ initiative.

Californios (Chef Val Cantu) in San

Francisco, and the world’s only

Visitors can choose from 50

road excursions including the

two-star Indian restaurant: popular Highway One and Route

Campton Place (Chef Srijith 66 to the lesser-known Modoc

Gopinathan) also in San Francisco. County and Wild North Coast.

The guide also features 24 The initiative follows a 79%

restaurants in L.A.

“The stars awarded to the

world-class chefs and restaurants

increase in international travellers

choosing to embark on a road-trip.

visitcalifornia.com

Brand USA unites with new mobile content

SHOW SHORTS

Virginia Tourism

Corporation has launched

a campaign to celebrate

the 50th anniversary of

its ‘Virginia is for lovers’

slogan. The campaign will

last until August 10 and

features 1969-inspired

meals at restaurants,

bottled ‘lovers lagers’ and

various programmes and

events. The state also

features heavily in the

upcoming Wonder Woman

movie, which is due for

release in 2020.

virginia.org

The Colorado tourist

board highlighted its

Historic Hot Spring Loop

at IPW. The trail includes

five natural mineral hot

spring spots as part of a

720-mile loop in the

western part of the state.

Clients can soak in

relaxing baths at

Glenwood Springs,

considered the world’s

largest mineral hot

springs pool, as well as

stopping off at Steamboat

Springs, Ouray, Pagosa

Springs and Chaffee

County. colorado.com/

hotspringsloop

The next IPW will be

held in the Las Vegas

Convention Centre from

May 30 to June 3, 2020.

How do you work with

travel agents?

We believe that travel agents

are an extension of L.A.

tourism and that is why we

continue to assist the trade in

selling with our robust

educational programmes, of

which we now have more

than 5,000 graduates.

The latest United Stories

campaign from Brand USA

uses visual content to offer a

first-person insight into the

U.S.

Created by locals, influencers

and travellers alike, the short

videos can be downloaded via

a free app and will be used to

inspire international travellers.

“In the last year we have

hosted fam trips to all 50 states

and continue to grow our

toolkit with new content,” said

Brand USA’s Christopher L.

Thompson.

“Our goal is to be the go-to

channel for content featuring

U.S. destinations.”

thebrandusa.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


70

the review: trade show report

Experience Latin America

The latest edition of ELA, the UK’s only travel trade show dedicated to this

region, was the most successful yet. Laura Gelder rounds up the news

JUNE

10-12 2019

Green Guyana

gets the go-ahead

from LATA

The Guyana Tourism

Authority (GTA) won

Sustainable Destination of

the Year at the 2019 LATA

Achievement Awards,

announced at ELA.

According to LATA, the GTA

was awarded ‘for its

comprehensive approach to

sustainable tourism and for

launching a community-led

framework and toolkit aimed

at helping indigenous

communities to access the

benefits of tourism.’

Brian T. Mullis, Director of

the Guyana Tourism

Authority, said: “Guyana has

expended considerable effort

in recent years, not only to

develop an eco-friendly

tourism product but also to

incorporate sustainable

tourism best practice into all

aspects of its tourism

strategy.

“Guyana is committed to

maximising the positive

socio-economic and

conservation outcomes from

tourism and it is a

tremendous honour for us to

receive this award in

recognition of that.”

guyanatourism.com

Cruise shows growth

There was plenty of cruiserelated

news at ELA 2019.

Anakonda Amazon Cruises

(anakondaamazoncruises.com) is

now the umbrella brand for two

luxury cruise ships – the

36-passenger Anakonda and

28-capacity Manatee, the latter

the more adventurous option in

the Ecuadorian Amazon. It works

with indigenous communities,

offering cultural tours, wildlife

watching, canoeing and onboard

lectures and activities.

Antarctica 21’s (antarctica21.

com) new polar vessel, Magellan

Explorer, launches November 28,

with private balconies and a gym.

It’s the third in its fly/cruise fleet.

There’s a new fly/cruise

programme from One Ocean

(oneoceanexpeditions.com), with

flights from Punta Arenas to King

George Island and Santiago to

Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

Aqua

Expeditions’

(aquaexpeditions.com) new

20-suite Aqua Nera (pictured)

begins cruising the Peruvian

Amazon in August 2020, but is on

sale now, with a choice of six

itineraries.

DMC opens new experience in Ecuador’s Yasuni

Adventure Journeys has a new

experience in the Amazon Basin.

The Amazon Explorer Campsite

is reached by kayak and linked

with the local Kichwa tribal

community. It’s strongly focused

on conservation, offering

activities like tree-planting as

well as wildlife watching and

kayaking.adventurejourneys.com

SHOW SHORTS

DMC Argentina Travel

Partners has a new oneday

tour of the jungle

around Iguazu Falls,

accompanied by a botanist.

atpdmc.com

Boutique hotel

Achamaqui in Northern

Peru touts the

archeological site

Chachapoyas as a less

crowded alternative to

Macchu Picchu. The

31-room hotel works with

communites near the preincan

site, where the main

attractions are the Kuelap

fortress and Karajia

tombs. achamaqui.pe

Specialist DMC Bolivia

Milenaria offers a new

glamping experience. The

bespoke accommodation

takes guests to areas less

touched by tourism in

tents, offering safari-style

comfort with double beds.

Locations include the salt

flats, Lake Titicaca and

Madidi National Park.

boliviamilenaria.com

Amazonas Explorer

refuses to sell the popular

Rainbow Mountain site in

Peru. The DMC claims that

it’s being damaged due to

over tourism.

amazonas-explorer.com

Experience Latin

America will be named the

LATA Expo in 2020 and

located at Chelsea Football

Club again. lata.travel

sellingtravel.co.uk


introducing 71

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is renowned for its religious celebrations and rock- hewn churches.

Lynn Houghton joins Far and Wild for the Timket festival in Addis Ababa

The day dawns bright and warm for

Timket. About 60% of this Amharic

population are Eastern Orthodox and so

celebrate Epiphany (the coming of the

three kings from the east) in January.

After arriving in Addis Ababa I

immediately participated in a stirring

procession with chanting, drumming,

marching and loud throaty singing

from local church members, attired in

matching clothing and with synchronised

choreography. It was truly uplifting.

Now I am travelling up to Meda for

the main Timket service. The glint of the

early-morning sun shines off soaring

skyscrapers and what appear to be

Bedouin camps have goats milling about

and donkeys sheltering under tents as we

pass under the just-opened light rail.

This juxtaposition of rural and modern is

strange to foreigners but the norm here.

My tour guide, Assefa, warns me that

security will be tight. The church elders

are treated like celebrities, plus the Tabot

(Ark of the Covenant), will be protected

like the crown jewels. The one we will see

is a facsimile - the original is said to be in

Axum in the far north.

Red, green and yellow bunting is

fluttering and many are attired in the

national colours too, but most are wearing

white cotton embroidered robes. We arrive

at a compound where the faithful are

descending in droves.

Let the festival begin

I manage to manoeuvre my way toward

the enormous baptismal pool. The security

seems to generally ignore tourists once

THE DETAILS

TIME ZONE: GMT +3

CURENCY: Birr. £1 = 36 Birr

VISAS: Online/on arrival, $50

CAPITAL: Addis Ababa

LANGUAGES: English, Amharic

CLIMATE: Ethiopian Highlands'

dry season is September-June,

rainy season is July-August

BOOK IT: Far & Wild Travel

A CROSS BEARING ELDER

specialise in tailor-made

holidays plus small group

tours to Ethiopia with a Timket

Festival Tour priced from

£3,685pp (farandwild.travel/

africa/ethiopia)

GETTING THERE: Ethiopian

Airlines fly daily from

Heathrow and four times per

through the initial frisk down. Elders

attired in golden brocaded robes carry

filigree silver crosses that represent the

religious centres: Lalibela, Axum and

Gondar. The service entails low chanting

and singing of texts by these elders. Soon,

however, there is a loud commotion. A

soberly dressed churchman is dousing the

entire group of congregants with a hose! It

is a messy group baptism and young and

old alike push forward to participate.

week from Manchester to

Addis Ababa, starting at £455

return (ethiopianairlines.com)

STAY: The eco Simien Mountain

Lodge, located high in the

Simien National Park, helps

fund local community projects

and is close to wildlife such as

gelada baboons.

SHEPHERDS IN THE SIMIEN MOUNTAINS

CRUCIFORM CHURCH, LALIBELA

Now the festivities begin in earnest with

everyone taking part. Football pitches

are erected, and children ride farmers'

donkeys as if on a fairground ride. Tiny

BBQs are lit as Tibs (grilled meat) is

prepared and coffee beans roasted.

Injera, a spongy sour bread, is being

divvied up amongst family members. This

unusual pancake-like staple is used as

both a plate and an eating utensil.

Ethiopia is where coffee originated,

though its beginnings are disputed. Many

locals believe it was a goat herder more

than a thousand years ago who noticed

that his flock became agitated after eating

the ripe red beans. Hundreds of years ago,

Ethiopian warriors chewed the beans for

an adrenaline rush before a battle.

These days, there is a whole ritual

around making coffee and it is quite

the social occasion. Beans are roasted

on a fire, ground, mixed with water and

returned to the fire. The resulting divine

dark concoction is truly delicious and

never forgotten.

sellingtravel.co.uk


72

how to sell

New South Wales

It has Australia’s urban crown as its main draw, but visitors who arrive in Australia via Sydney

might not know that New South Wales has enough to fill an entire holiday, says Laura Gelder

Why sell it

New South Wales (NSW) has a long coastline

dotted with numerous beaches and laidback

surf towns, plus sub-tropical rainforest,

a wine region, a red outback and even snowy

mountains – in short, plenty for agents in

the know to recommend to clients looking to

experience the state beyond the city.

Most people heading to Australia for the

first time are interested in Sydney and may

have heard of the Blue Mountains and

Hunter Valley, but despite it being home to

Australia’s most iconic city much of NSW is

usually unexplored.

This presents an opportunity for agents – a

destination with a famous, desirable and

easily accessible gateway combined with a

surrounding region which still manages to

offer off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Who to sell to

In short, everyone who wants to go to

Australia. But each region has a different

appeal and it will depend on where else in

Australia the client wishes to go, how much

time they have and if they've been before.

The Blue Mountains and outback region

of NSW offer old-fashioned charm and

historic interest, while the Hunter Valley

and Lord Howe Island are great for those

seeking indulgence and relaxation. Families

will appreciate beautiful beaches north and

south of the city, as well as in Sydney itself,

but the south is wilder and will appeal to

those looking to get away from the crowds.

JERVIS BAY

LORD HOWE ISLAND

Selling the city

Sydney could occupy travellers for several

weeks alone, offering cosmopolitan draws

like shopping, art galleries and fine dining,

as well its many bays and beaches.

Icons like the Opera House and Sydney

Harbour Bridge sell themselves, and

beaches like Bondi and Manly are always

a hit, but agents who get to know the

city’s less obvious areas will attract repeat

visitors and travellers looking to break away

from the obvious. Up-and-coming areas

include artsy Chippendale, hip and historic

Paddington and foodie Surrey Hills.

CULTURAL TOUR IN DUBBO

Agents can impress clients and up their

commission by adding value to classic

attractions. A behind-the-scenes tour of

the Sydney Opera House with lunch, or

breakfast in the koala enclosure at Wild Life

Sydney Zoo, are two examples.

A more unusual way to see the city is an

aboriginal tour with Dreamtime Southern X,

where visitors learn the city’s sacred spots

and take part in an ancient ceremony.

Selling the coast

NSW’ Central Coast, between Sydney and

the state’s second-biggest city, Newcastle,

further north. Visitors can expect great

watersports opportunities, wildlife

spotting and plenty of charming towns for

swimming, fishing and surfing.

Wildlife lovers can head to the Australian

Walkabout Wildlife Park and stay overnight

in a cabin among the native animals.

Close by, the Australian Reptile Park has

demonstrations of snake handling and how

to milk venom from funnel-web spiders.

North of Newcastle coastal stops include

Port Stephens, where visitors can tour the

towering sand on quad bikes or 4WD; Coffs

Harbour which is a jumping-off point for

the Solitary Islands Marine Park and scuba

diving trips with turtles or dolphin watching;

sellingtravel.co.uk


how to sell 73

Port Macquarie, where a hospital treats

injured and sick koalas and welcomes

visitors; and Byron Bay, home to Australia’s

most easterly point and combining great

beaches and surf culture with a laid-back

but top-quality café scene and hippy vibes.

South of Sydney visit discover uncrowded

beaches, marine and national parks and

seaside towns and fishing villages like Eden,

which is stuffed to the gills with seafood

restaurants. The rugged coastline offers

adventures such as swimming with seals,

deep-sea fishing, coastal walks and surfing.

Top sights south from Sydney include

Wollongong, NSW’s third-largest city and

home to the largest Buddhist temple

in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as

adventure activities like hang gliding and

sky diving; Kiama and its blowhole, which

spouts seawater 20 metres into the air; the

attractive village of Berry, in the Shoalhaven

wine region and renowned for its local

produce markets and restaurants; and

Jervis Bay, which claims Australia’s whitest

sand and is a haven for dolphins, whales

and penguins.

Another seaside option is the exclusive

Lord Howe Island, where only 400 visitors

are allowed at a time. The island lies 600km

east of the mainland and is World Heritagelisted

thanks to its abundance of nesting

seabirds, corals and marine creatures.

Activities here include relaxing in luxury

accommodation with spa treatments,

enjoying the island's rainforest trails

(including or climbing Mount Gower for

panoramic views), and watersports like

scuba diving, paddle-boarding and kayaking

Selling the country

There are lots of great places which are a

short hop or even possible as a day tour

from the coast. From Sydney the Blue

Mountains are a popular option. These

get their name from the natural blue haze

PORT MACQUARIE

SHOAL BAY, PORT STEPHENS

created by vast eucalypt forests whose oil

mixes with water vapour and sunlight to

produce a distinctive haze.

The area’s iconic sights include the Three

Sisters rock formation at Katoomba and the

limestone crystals and underground rivers

of the Jenolan Caves. Visitors can ride the

world’s steepest passenger railway through

ancient rainforest or take a glass-floored

cable car over a steep gorge.

The World Heritage-listed Gondwana

Rainforests are just off the North Coast

and encompass Dorrigo National Park near

Coffs Harbour, with waterfalls, walking and

bird watching.

From Byron Bay visitors can climb an

extinct volcano, Mount Warning, and be

the first in Australia to see the sun rise.

Just off the south coast is the Minnamurra

Rainforest. Inland from Newcastle is the

NSW’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley,

where visitors can tour vineyards and

sample local wines at cellar doors, including

Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood and McGuigan.

Other draws include award-winning

restaurants, championship golf courses,

gardens, farmers’ markets , food and music

festivals and activities like hot air balloon

rides and biking.

Further inland, Mudgee and Orange are

also wine regions, with numerous cellar

doors, wine bars and fine restaurants.

Much further inland, the vast NSW

outback has featured in films such as

the post-apocalyptic Mad Max 2 and

encompasses the ochre and red landscapes

Australia is known for, as well as wetlands

teeming with wildlife.

Remote mining town Broken Hill is 13

hours by train from Sydney and offers

heritage trails and film location tours.

There’s also othe pal mining town White

Cliffs, with its underground motel.

There’s also lots of Aboriginal history,

including ancient rock art in Mutawintji

National Park and Mungo National Park’s

famous remains of Mungo Man and Mungo

Lady, tens of thousands of years old.

How to sell it

Distances are vast in NSW but airlines,

including Qantas, fly to smaller cities

and towns including Coffs Harbour and

country music capital, Tamworth, and there

are trains to the Hunter Valley and Blue

Mountains from Sydney.

For self-drivers there are official

drive routes to follow, like the Legendary

Pacific Coast route, north from Sydney,

and Grand Pacific Drive south from

Sydney, which link attractions and

towns together.

BOOK IT WITH... AUSTRAVEL

A 14-night Sydney, Coast, Wines and Mountains tour

is from £3,449pp with Emirates fiights. It includes

nights in Sydney at the QT Hotel, glamping in Jervis Bay,

Lilianfels Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains, Zoofari

Lodge in Dubbo, Hunter Valley Resort, and Peppers

Anchorage in Port Stephens, plus a wine tour, and 12

days Avis car hire. austravel.com – 0808 250 4889

sellingtravel.co.uk


traveluni.com

GDS | TRAINING | REWARDS

Training, competitions, events

THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES July/August 2019

Saga launches its

Spirit of Discovery

Quick Quiz

Are you an

Alaska

Expert?

1. Alaska is

home to the

tallest mountain

in America

TRUE / FALSE

NEWS

SAGA welcomed the latest

edition to its fleet, Spirit of

Discovery, by inviting hundreds of

trade partners aboard in Dover this

July for a showcase and party.

The ship, and its sister, Spirit of

Adventure, due to launch in August

2020, are the only small new luxury

ships being built for the British

market. Spirit of Discovery will sail

up to 1,000 passengers around the

world, along with 500 crew.

Trending

City break appeal

for Jerusalem

2. In Alaska

there is one

bear to every

person

TRUE / FALSE

sagaexperts.com

Experience Jerusalem I Modules: 3

Jerusalem has established itself as a popular citybreak

destination as it attracts more mainstream

tourists. Eli Nahmias, of the Jerusalem Development

Authority, says it has shed its image of a city

that appeals to just religious pilgrims, saying:

"Now increasingly we are recognised as an

international destination brimming with cultural

attractions, top hotels and museums, arts,

nightlife and a calendar of great events.”

Eighteen new hotels are scheduled to open this

year and a major new attraction, the Museum of

Tolerance, which will 'promote unity and respect

among Jews and people of all faiths’, should open

before the end of 2019. experiencejerusalem.co.uk

Find the answer at:

alaskacertifiedexperts.com

VaKaVa by Jumeirah

News

Jumeirah at Etihad

Towers in Abu Dhabi has

teamed up with Mexican

celebrity chef Richard Sandoval

to open new restaurant VaKaVa

Pan Latin Grill & Lounge.

Taking the place of Toro Toro,

VaKaVa enjoys the same two-storey

views and has a new menu that

offers Latin dishes, sharing platters

and personalised cocktails.

jumeirah.com

Register and complete the TAWASH Online

Training Program for your chance to WIN!

One of two Go Pro HERO7 Cameras • One of three £100 Amazon Vouchers

Register or sign-in to the TAWASH Online Training Program to find out more

Register NOW to

WIN!

www.tawashqatar.com

*Terms and conditions apply


Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!

Working in partnership

Summer seller

Incentive

BOURNE Leisure is each

week giving away £100 in

Love2Shop vouchers as part of its

latest 'Unwrap the Great British

Summer' incentive.

Every agent that registers a

Butlin’s, Haven or Warner Leisure

Hotels booking for guests travelling

through July and August will be in

with a chance of winning.

Three agents can scoop a share of

the £100 voucher prize pot each

week, with the amount given to

each agent varying from week to

week. During the incentive period

all winners will be chosen at

random and announced on a

weekly basis via Bourne’s Brainz

Agent Hub Facebook page. The

incentive runs until August 11.

bourneexpert.co.uk

Honeymoon offer

News

Veranda Resorts has a

honeymoon offer of up to

40% off for stays until January

2020. Agents can book both the

Veranda Paul et Virginie and

Veranda Pointe aux Biches, both in

Mauritius, for 40% less, with free

gifts in the room upon arrival. The

deal is applicable in Superior and

Privilege room categories on a halfboard

basis when booking five

nights. veranda-resorts.com

News

Matai Fiji I Modules: 4

Fiji Airways'

stopover deal

Passengers can enjoy a

stopover in Singapore for 20%

less when they travel to Fiji

with Fiji Airways. The carrier

is promoting a two-day-onenight

Singapore stopover

package consisting of

accommodation, local SIM

card and a one-way transfer from

the airport to the hotel, priced from SGD $62.50pp.

To take advantage of the deal, agents must book a multi-city

itinerary, with a night in Singapore, then use the code FLYFIJI20

to save 20% on select Changi stopover packages. Their clients

can then enjoy attractions such as Sentosa Island, Gardens by

the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Zoo.

matai.fiji.travel

COURSE LIST

A-Z of available

courses

ABTA

Alaska

Aruba

Amtrak Vacations

Beaches Resorts

Bourne Leisure

Butlins

Centara Hotels &

Resorts

Cirque de Soleile

Costa Rica

Elegant Hotels

Essential Detail

Fiji

Finland

Flanders

Fort Myers & Sanibel

Haven Hotels

Hawaii

Heritage Resort

Jerusalem

Jumeirah Hotels

& Resorts

Journey Beyond

Las Vegas

Macao

Melia Hotels &

Resorts

New York state

Newmarket Holidays

Ontario

Qatar

Railbookers

SAGA

Saint Lucia

Sandals Resorts

Seychelles

Simon Malls

St Kitts

Thailand

TIPTO

US Airtours

Veranda Resorts

Windjammer Landing

Hotel

Yas Island

traveluni.com

REGISTER FOR

THAILAND EXPERT

AND WIN A SARONG!

Thailandexpert.co.uk

Terms and conditions apply


76

my journey

Carson Pass on

the crest of the

Sierra Nevada

On the road in

California

From the depths of Lake Tahoe to the panoramic views of Yosemite National Park,

Jessica Pook takes to the road to discover the natural allure of the Golden State.

Shaded by a

sequoia

Highway 1’s iconic

cliffhanger views

There’s a country song playing on the radio

about a guy who’s drinking whiskey to

soothe his broken heart. Normally I’d

sympathise, but today I’m in a Mustang with the

top down, winding my way along the west coast of

California, the scent of pine wafting through the

car like a natural air freshener.

On one side the trees are so dense I can

barely see beyond the first row

of trunks and on the other

side the Pacific Ocean

spans forever. I’m having

a Thelma and Louise

moment and no country

crooner can dampen my

mood!

As we cruise further up

Highway 1 we pull over

at a viewpoint just north

of San Simeon and join the

gathering of muscle cars that seem

to dominate this stretch of road. I soon realise why

this is such a popular pit stop. The radio is drowned

out by a loud chorus of honking caused by hundreds,

possibly thousands, of elephant seals, all wallowing

along the shoreline, fighting for that perfect

sunbathing spot.

Tahoe treasures

An eagle skims

the water’s edge before

taking fl ight in front

of me

The journey inland towards Lake Tahoe makes for

a dramatic change in scenery. During the winter

months the lake serves as a popular ski resort and

it’s blanketed in snow from November until April.

Now it’s the middle of June, which sees highs of 25C

– but we’re still seeing patches of snow.

In reality, Lake Tahoe is 75 miles in length and

North America’s largest alpine lake, but search

for it on a map of California and it looks no bigger

than a teardrop! All that fresh water makes it too

tempting to take out a kayak and paddle around.

The clear water of the shallows turn eerily black

the deeper the patches I paddle through. The depth

of the lake has also tempted scuba divers and the

new Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail explores

sunken boats and barges which lie undisturbed up

to 60 feet below the surface.

Back on shore we’re met by Mike Frye from the

South Lake Tahoe Tourist Board and

taken on a gentle hike through a

forest floor scattered with wild

flowers and pine cones the

size of a rugby ball!

While we’re rambling I’m

so busy intently listening to

tales of bears breaking into

houses and wrecking cars that

I nearly miss a break in the trees

offering the most breathtaking

view of the smaller Fallen Leaf Lake,

the reflection of snow-covered mountains

rippling on the surface.

The bear stories continue and I learn that this area

is a hive of wildlife activity in the spring, thanks to

the salmon that gets caught in the weir. As if on cue,

an eagle skims the water’s edge before taking flight

in front of me. It might not be a bear but I’m ok

about that considering my current situation.

South Lake Tahoe teeters on the state line between

California and Nevada and a trip across the border

to Heavenly Valley, just a 10-minute drive from the

quiet, lakeside views of the Azure Hotel where I’m

staying, gives a small insight into a state known for

its blackjack and roulette.

Call of the wild

While I was impressed with Highway 1 and its

ocean views, the journey from Tahoe to Sonora

takes me completely by surprise. What started off

sellingtravel.co.uk


my journey 77

Refl ections on nature

at Lake Tahoe

The awesome power of water at

Yosemite Falls

as an A to B drive turns into the most breathtakingly

scenic passage – dare I say it, even more so than the

Big Sur. We stop at Caples Lake and I can’t help but

investigate what looks like white foam floating on the

surface. Upon closer inspection I realise its ice and

I’m somewhat confused to be standing in shorts and

a t-shirt next to a lake that has blocks of frozen water

floating across the surface!

When we reach Sonora it feels as if we’ve stepped

back in time to the days of the Wild West. The Sonora

Inn, just an hour from Yosemite National Park, has the

charm of days gone by and I half expect to encounter

a cowboy in the corridor as he saunters to the very

real saloon across the road.

Yosemite National Park has been on my bucket list

since I first heard about the giant sequoia trees that

have been rooted here for thousands of years. While

Mariposa Grove is the largest and most popular in the

park - home to characters such as the Grizzly Giant,

the Faithful Couple and The Bachelor and Three

Graces - Tuolume Grove, near the west edge of the

park, offers just as impressive trunks but is generally

less busy so you can enjoy these majestic giants

without the crowds.

Aside from the trees, the park offers visitors a

natural oasis of scenic hikes, towering waterfalls and

sheer cliff edges, most recently highlighted in the

National Geographic documentary film Free Solo.

which follows rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest

to perform a climb of El Capitan without ropes – it’s

not easy watching.

The view from the top of Glacier Point certainly

commands your attention. With panoramic vistas of

the park, it’s worth the half-hour drive to get to.

The drama of Half Dome, with its distinct stone face

looming and the pounding Yosemite Falls, leaves me

questioning if they are actually real. It’s a view that no

camera can do justice to.

As we leave the park, which takes a solid hour due

to the sheer size of it, I feel naive that I’ve tried to ‘do’

Yosemite in two days and find myself determined to

return for a dedicated week-long camping trip. But

before we reach the exit, something catches my eye

in one of the meadows. Sure enough, it’s a grizzly

bear, chomping away at the grass, undeterred by the

audience that it has now attracted. It may not be as

impressive as Mike’s story, but I’m just chuffed to

have enjoyed and survived my own bear encounter. •

Open roads

and beautiful

views

Our shiny

Mustang

WHERE TO BOOK IT

Vacations to America has two road trips,

both starting in San Francisco, which

offer elements of this trip. The 14-day

Classic California, from £2,769pp,

takes in Highway 1 including Monterey,

Carmel and Big Sur, before ending in Los

Angeles.

The 11-day Golden West, from £2,385pp,

has three nights in Yosemite before

heading to Death Valley and Las Vegas.

vacationstoamerica.com

sellingtravel.co.uk

Sunbathing next to

snow at Caples Lake


78

south africa

all

aboard!

As South Africa’s Blue Train moves from a one- to a two-night

experience, Phoebe Smith jumps onboard to discover the

ultimate slow travel experience

sellingtravel.co.uk


south africa 79

There’s something mesmerising

about the sound of a train

pushing its way along a track.

I remember when I was a little girl, my

mother would tell me to listen carefully

to hear the locomotive talking to itself,

uttering the words ‘I think I can, I know

I can’ as it went.

As I got older trains somehow lost their

magic, being merely a means to an end,

crammed full of commuters. So when

I received an invitation to travel across

the expanse of South Africa on a twonight

journey by rail it was – perhaps

understandably - met with a certain

amount of trepidation. But this was no

ordinary train.

Palace on wheels

First established back in 1923 as the

Union Express, it was a vital link between

Johannesburg and Cape Town, allowing

post to reach the waiting mail ships.

The journey back then was all about

function until, following a suspended

service during WWII, it was resurrected

in 1946 with its distinct blue-and-cream

livery, a luxury overhaul and a new name –

The Blue Train. This was to be a true ‘palace

on wheels’ and large on luxury.

From the private lounge at Cape

Town station, where we toast with pink

Champagne as a jazz musician plays the

saxophone, a blue-blazered butler leads

me to my cabin. He opens the door to

reveal a sumptuous suite consisting of two

large armchairs that fold into twin beds,

a table where a bottle of fizz chills, and a

bathroom complete with a walk-in shower.

But the real show-stopper is the huge

picture window that makes the in-room

entertainment system instantly redundant.

As we roll out of the city, with the cloud

spooling over the top of Table Mountain,

the urban sprawl gives way to farmland,

vineyards and mountain passes. I’m

mesmerised by the ever-changing palette –

from greens to golds, grape to granite.

“It used to be a bit of a rushed journey

– luxurious but fast,” explains the train

manager as we sit in the lounge car

enjoying an aperitif before dinner.

“Now, however, with the two-night

journey time. it’s about allowing guests to

have the space to properly unwind.”

The food is as glorious as the scenery.

Dishes of smoked salmon, pan-fried steak

and biltong flakes are whipped out from

a kitchen smaller than my cabin, each

paired with lovely local wines and followed

by a dessert bonanza of chocolate cigars,

hot fudge pudding and deconstructed

lemon meringue.

Despite the mesmerising flavours, I can’t

help but gaze out at the mountains as we

reach the Karoo plateau, where the grey is

transformed into pink as dusk falls.

I wake early, raise my blind and lie in bed,

simply watching the world go by. Breakfast

is not at a set time so I head to the dining

car when I feel hungry and later call my

butler for an in-room coffee.

“Cape Town is perfect for

slowing down. You could

spend a few nights in

downtown then head out to

Camps Bay for gorgeous

sunsets and endless

coastal walks”

Jonny May, Audley Travel

Precious gem

The one stop on this journey is at

Kimberley, famed for its diamond mines. A

waiting tour bus whisks us away from the

train to the Big Hole. This massive mining

crater is 214 metres deep and filled with

water that has a surface area the same

size as five football fields.

As I look down at this man-made

excavation I notice my usual hurried

pace has been replaced by a much more

laid-back meander – it’s as though I’m

channelling the speed of the train despite

having left it. By the time I step back

onboard I’m ready to do more of what this

whole experience is about – nothing at all.

I head to the observation car at the back

of the train and, with a drink in hand,

watch the setting sun. My journey will

come to an end the following morning,

rolling back towards the urban, as I pass

through Johannesburg to end in Pretoria.

From there I will head four hours west, for

a safari in Madikwe Reserve. But you

THE BLUE TRAIN

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80

south africa

WILDLIFE SPOTTING IN MADIKWE NATURE RESERVE

can combine the Blue Train with Kruger

National Park, the Garden Route along the

Eastern Cape, as well as the Hoedspruit

and Sabie areas of the north coast of

KwaZulu-Natal.

For now, I watch a cluster of pink

flamingos on the lake. With our

increasingly fast-paced lives, slow travel

offers something that no other experience

really can; the chance to disconnect

from technology, to reconnect with the

landscape, and to realise that the journey

really can be the destination.

Ideas for slow South Africa

A sidecar tour from Cape Town:

Someone else worries about the

driving while guests simply sit back and

take in the sights, smells and sounds as

the little motorcycles travel down the

coast at a leisurely speed, taking in views

(including a stop for a Champagne

breakfast), Victorian seaside towns and

South African penguins at Boulders Beach,

before ending with a toast and local wine

in Stellenbosch.

A multi-day safari: Just four hours

on good roads from Jo’burg is

Madikwe Nature Reserve, a place where

the Magnificent Seven roam – including

elephant, rhinos, lion, buffalo, leopard,

cheetah and African wild dog. Royal

Madikwe Lodge is situated by a prime

waterhole where, after undertaking

sunrise and sunset drives, guests are

encouraged to grab a sundowner and

watch the wildlife come to them.

Tuk-tuk tour in Soweto: Sick of

being gawped at by coach tour

tourists snapping photos of them as

though on a human safari, locals in

Soweto decided it was time for a change

and provide a more authentic experience.

Buying a fleet of bikes and three tuk-tuks,

they now offer visitors a local view of the

famous township, telling stories and

offering the chance to actually meet and

talk to the locals too.

Where to book it

CARRIER – 0161 492 1353

The seven-night Window to the Soul of

South Africa holiday is priced from £3,185pp,

based on two adults sharing. It includes

two nights’ B&B in a one-bedroom luxury

apartment at More Quarters in Cape Town,

two nights’ full-board in a Deluxe Suite on

The Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria,

two nights’ all-inclusive in a Luxury Suite at

Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge and one

night B&B in a Luxury Suite at The Saxon

Boutique Hotel & Spa in Johannesburg.

Plus fast track service and lounge access at

Heathrow, return flights with South African

Airways and private road transfers within

the destination. carrier.co.uk.

BLUE TRAIN SERVICE WITH A SMILE

THE PICTURESQUE VILLAGE STATION OF MATJIESFONTEIN

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the final word 81

the quirky side of travel

Tea for TUI

As a tea-loving nation it comes as no

surprise that we drink an excessive

amount of the stuff, and this doesn't

change when we take flight. According

to TUI, British travellers love nothing

more than a nice brew. The airline

estimates that over the summer period

TUI Airways customers will drink

enough English breakfast tea to fill 920

bathtubs. We are also a fan of snacking

and are expected to eat enough ham

and cheese toasties to feed Wembley

Stadium twice, along with a marathon

amount of Sour Cream & Chive Pringle

- literally! Put back-to-back, the pots

would span the entire London Marathon

route. You know what they say - once

you pop, you can't stop...

tui.co.uk

Train strains

Around 80% of Brits have experienced

a life-changing 'sliding doors moment',

says rail company LNER, referring to

the film Sliding Doors which shows two

versions of a life, depending on whether

a train was missed or not. LNER's survey

revealed that one in 20 came home

earlier than expected and caught their

partner cheating, just like poor Gwyneth

Paltrow in the film. lner.co.uk

Mum over mates

First Choice has revealed that over

three-quarters of young adults are

opting to go on holiday with their

parents. Whilst 23% admitted it's to

save money (thanks to the bank of

mum and dad), 62% simply enjoy

spending quality time with their

parents. They’re not taking mum to

Magaluf, though – parents are finding

new confidence to travel to long-haul

destinations. firstchoice.co.uk

Top 5... most

expensive taxi fares

According to Taxi2airport.com, the country

with the most expensive taxi fare is

Switzerland, at £20.25 for 5km, compared to

just 75 pence for the same journey in Egypt!

Here's a list of the most pricey 5km drives...

1 Switzerland: £20.25

2 Japan: £13.97

3 Germany: £12.32

4 Netherlands: £11.97

5 Belgium: £11.52

THE SEPTEMBER 2019 ISSUE OF SELLING TRAVEL WILL FEATURE: Cyprus • Over 50s travel • Peru • South Florida • South Pacific • Weddings & Honeymoons •

CONTACT US sales@bmipublishing.co.uk; editorial@bmipublishing.co.uk

PLUS ONLINE Daily Selling Tips • Destination Guides • Photo Galleries • Travel Uni

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Sundowners at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, we guarantee they will be moments they’ll

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Uncompromising on luxury, we include stays in some of the most iconic hotels and are the

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from. For guests who live outside of 75 miles, an additional supplement of £2.00 per mile will be charged. Loyalty members who already receive this benefit will receive an additional discount.


Be inspired by...

TOURING

Trends in touring • Touring four ways • Interview: Shearings Holidays

• Fresh touring ideas • Take five: off-the-beaten track tours •


84

TOURING

TRENDS IN TOURING

Once synonymous with passive 'herded' groups, there’s now a touring product to

fit a wider range of clients, and a growing demand to tap into, says Debbie Ward

The touring market continues

to break down into tighter

segments with size, transport and

demographics still fragmenting.

“The concept of touring has evolved over

recent years, from the traditional escorted

coach tour carrying 50-plus passengers to a

more flexible and dynamic product range,”

explains Travel 2’s Senior Product and

Commercial Manager for Touring, Europe

and Cruise, Mark Henderson.

Anything from rail to trekking and many

special interests are now covered, he points

out, adding, “a key change is the degree of

flexibility now available within tours. This

includes more time for customers to add on

experiences tailored to their interests.”

This is part of a wider shift towards smallgroup

touring, believes Explore Worldwide’s

Global Head of Sales, Ben Ittensohn, with

even traditional coach operators having to

fragment and personalise their product to

meet demand.

“People are now seeing how much closer

you can get to destinations, culture and

local life in a small group,” he says.

The shift appears to be influenced by the

wider trend for authenticity. “Experiential

tours, whether food-, walking-, cultural- or

multi-sport-based are consistently growing

as travellers are interested in experiencing

the real day-to-day atmosphere and

ambience of a destination,” says Henderson.

Experiential travel

In response to demand for more varied

tours Ramblers Walking Holidays has added

mindfulness and wellbeing, bird watching,

and skills like navigation.

“Clients are also looking for memorable,

low-impact, environmentally aware

experiences," says Sales and Reservations

Manager, Paco Gonzalez. “They expect to

come back from the break with the feeling

they’ve gained a sense of accomplishment.”

Increasingly, socially conscious travellers

seek out community projects, says Travel 2.

And Explore notes that responsible travel

is now ‘more relevant’ to consumers than

it was even five years ago. Though social

awareness is a factor, the experiential travel

boom is also fuelled by bragging rights,

admits Ittensohn.

“This year we launched a trip to Lebanon

and sales have just gone through the roof.

It’s social currency to say you’ve just done

eight days in Lebanon or five in Chernobyl,”

he explains.

Touring operators’ high repeat booking

rates also drive innovation. “Some 21% of

our travellers last year had done 10 or more

trips with us so you can see we have a real

need to keep developing programmes,”

says Ittensohn.

Widening horizons

Northern Peru is among the off-the-beaten

track destinations tipped for growth by

Journey Latin America.

South Africa, Japan, Jordan and Lebanon

are, meanwhile, selling strongly for Explore.

It anticipates further Middle East growth

and hopes for a return to form for Sri

Lanka too. Good-value Turkey is also doing

well and operators predict other shorthaul

demand will bounce back as ‘Brexit

wariness’ eases.

As ever, film and TV coverage has an

effect. Demand for Explore’s Chernobyl

tour quadrupled after the HBO/Sky miniseries

about the nuclear disaster.

Judi Dench's recent programme about

Borneo and its lovable orangutans has

driven significant sales to the Malaysian

sellingtravel.co.uk


TOURING 85

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jordan's famous lost city of Petra; Turkish resort Oludeniz; bird watching is becoming more popular; Thailand's Koh Lipe

sellingtravel.co.uk


86

touring

island, according to Mercury Holidays

and Shearings Holidays.

Self-drives are increasingly popular with

those who enjoy travelling independently

while tapping into an operators’

expert know-how, and infrastructure

improvements help boost this market.

“Over the decades, improvements to Latin

America’s growing network of paved roads

have really opened up the region to this

style of holiday,” says Journey Latin America

ABOVE: Lost City of Kuelap, Northern Peru

Business Development Manager, Laura

Rendell-Dunn. “In Ecuador, for example,

recent improvements to Route 45 mean that

places once almost inaccessible to visitors

are now brought within easy reach of

popular Quito and the country’s principal

highland cities.”

Time poor but tech savvy

Today’s travellers want to maximise their

experiences of a destination by being on

tighter schedules.

“Nowadays, clients usually travel for two

or three weeks at a time where 40 years ago

we offered a six-week escorted group tour

that covered Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and

Peru and was hugely popular,” points out

Rendell-Dunn.

Clients are also better informed. Ramblers

says even its predominantly 50+ customers

do thorough internet research before

booking. A recent survey of 2,000 millennial

travellers by TrekAmerica meanwhile found

Instagram was a travel driver for 25% of this

age group – something agents could use to

their own advantage when targeting sales.

ABOVE: Lebanon's appeal includes bragging rights

Flying solo… or as a family

Solo travel is a key recent touring trend.

Explore’s Ittensohn says that although

the reasons are unclear, female client

numbers have also risen, perhaps because

women like the security of travelling with

others. He adds that with more short tours

available, those with partners with different

travel interests feel comfortable taking a

few days away on their own.

Agents can court this market by

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Untitled-1 1 10/07/2019 08:58


TOURING 87

ABOVE: Chenobyl - seeing strong growth since the TV mini-series

understanding single supplement options.

Some small group operators waive this

for travellers who will share rooms. Some

have no single supplements on certain

departure dates.

Family touring is also on the rise. Travel 2

is expanding product to meet what it sees as

the key 2019/2020 trend.

“Families are now looking to travel on

more experiential-based holidays and we

have some great partners that we work with

to deliver this,” says Henderson.

Explore also notes the boom, with

Thailand and Turkey proving popular.

“We’ve seen double-digit growth this year.

People want to get their children away from

their screen and out doing fun activities like

kayaking,” says Ittensohn.

Agents can entice families by stressing

how group touring takes the strain off

parents, he advises.

The age demographic is also shifting. “The

average age of a tour customer is midfifties

but this is something that’s certainly

changing. I was recently on a Vietnam tour

and I happened to be the oldest person

at 40,” says Henderson. “The youngest

customer was 19 but the group was

harmonious as we all had similar interests.”

He predicts average ages will continue to

drop thanks to today’s more immersive tour

opportunities.

Agent tips

Agents often need to be proactive to sell

tours. Explore encourages retailers to use

the demand for new experiences to their

advantage, tempting clients with unusual

destinations and activities they can access

most easily with organised tours. Agents

should also join touring associations

to network with specialists, Explore’s

Ittensohn advises.

And Travel 2’s Henderson suggests agents

ask clients their interests and hobbies and

then match them to tours designed with the

same niche in mind.

Titan’s Head of Trade Sales Edwina

Coppock points out that touring is a quick

and easy way for agents to sell a multicentre

holiday without days of research.

She adds: “Don’t just wait for a customer

to ask for an escorted tour. They may

initially only know that they want to visit a

certain country.”

ABOVE: South Africa is a classic touring destination

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Spirit of Discovery is here!

Book online at sagaagents.co.uk, call FREE on 0800 074 8021

or contact Trade Support FREE on 0800 068 8732

Visit our online training platform at sagaexperts.co.uk

Find us on social media Saga Trade Team

Image credit: Chris Ison

Saga holidays and cruises are exclusively for the over 50s. A travel companion may be 40+. NTA-SC2851


TOURING 89

TOURING FOUR WAYS

Agents can sell tours under many different guises and for varied tastes and

interests, Debbie Ward outlines four styles

ADVENTURE TOURING

Trekking Tanzania's Kilimanjaro is a popular G Adventures trip

G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) includes many active

tours, some specifically for ‘18 to 30-somethings’,

including serious trekking options in Kilimanjaro,

Nepal and Patagonia, the latter offering clients the

chance to raft in Glacier National Park.

Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com) encourages

adventurous travellers to take to two wheels, with

cycling tours in the Balkans, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran,

Tanzania and the lesser-cycled but trending Japan.

Routes here link Kyoto with Tokyo and the Noto

Peninsula, with optional electric bikes to take some of

the strain.

Medium-haul Costa Rica is a manageable adventure

holiday for families offered by Explore (explore.co.uk)

and Exodus (exodus.co.uk). Explore’s 14-night Family

Rainforest Adventure includes treks to see sloths

and howler monkeys. An 11-day trip to Borneo with

Intrepid Travel (intrepidtravel.com) takes in an orangutan

rehabilitation centre plus proboscis monkeys.

SELF DRIVE

Journey Latin America (journeylatinamerica.co.uk) has

a newly-launched tour called Self-drive Ecuador: The

Back Road of the Andes. This heads off the beaten

track, winding its way south from Quito’s high Andean

plateau to the rainforest of the Amazon basin in 10

days. It uses the newly improved scenic Route 45, with

clients staying in forest lodges on the way and taking

opportunities for wildlife spotting and river rafting.

Closer to home, Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.

co.uk) has self-drive itineraries around the mountain

passes and glaciers of Norway and the ancient villages

and beaches of Montenegro, both over eight days.

Kuoni’s (kuoni.co.uk) flexible Australian self-drive

holidays can be made by car, with pre-booked,

accommodation, or by motorhome. Among the less

obvious suggested routes is an Outback self-drive

over 22 nights from Perth to Darwin, taking in Karinji

National Park, the striped rock formations of the Bungle

Bungles and staying two nights at El Questro ranch,

besides coastal stays at Broome and Monkey Mia.

Regent Holidays offers self-drive options in Norway

sellingtravel.co.uk


90

TOURING

SOLO TOURING

While many escorted tours are likely to include a mix

of solos, couples and friends, Saga (saga.co.uk) is one of

the operators offering dedicated solo departures.

Options include a Southern Italian and Sicilian

Adventure over 12 nights, covering the trending but

lesser-known area at the heel of Italy. Wine tasting on

the foothills of Mount Vesuvius is among the highlights.

Further off the beaten track it also has a 10-night Heart

of the Silk Route solo tour of Uzbekistan, which takes in

Samarkand, famed for its Islamic mosaic work.

Solo departures from Titan Travel (titantravel.co.uk)

include California and the Golden West in the US,

incorporating Vegas and Yosemite, and trips to the

Foothills of the Himalayas in India.

Great-value Turkey is among the solo departures for

On the Go tours (onthegotours.com), which has a 10-day

‘Unplugged’ trip taking in Istanbul, Cappadocia and the

WWI landing site at Gallipoli, with no single supplement

if clients room share with another of the same sex.

Client ages range from 18 to 70-plus.

Riviera (rivieratravel.co.uk) has a solo travellers forum

for online travel chat and no single supplement on its

solo departures. These include several Italy options

plus New York, Sri Lanka and a Grand Tour of China.

Saga offers a solo tour of Uzbekistan

LUXURY TOURING

South Africa continues to trend this year, partly thanks

to improved airlift. Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk) has a sevennight

escorted Essential South Africa tour combining

three nights in Cape Town with two at Stellenbosch in

the Winelands and an optional Eastern Cape safari, visit

to Victoria Falls, or a three-night add-on in Mauritius.

For the ultimate cash-rich- time-poor clients,

Abercrombie & Kent (abercrombiekent.co.uk) has a

new round-the-world by private jet tour for 2019,

stopping at Kyoto in Japan; the Gobi Desert in Mongolia;

Kathmandu and Mount Everest in Nepal; Bhutan; the

Taj Mahal in India; Abu Dhabi; Petra and Wadi Rum in

Jordan; Sicily; and Seattle and Boston in the U.S..

Less typical places to see in style include Albania,

featured by Cox & Kings (coxandkings.co.uk) in its

eight-night Land of the Eagle tour, and Moldova and the

Ukraine, including caviar tasting.

Many luxury-slanted operators offer private touring

with a drive/guide on certain itineraries.

And for something totally different, Wendy Wu

(wendywutours.co.uk) has a unique Big Fat Indian

Wedding trip departing this November that includes an

invite to a lavish wedding reception.

Be a guest at a lavish Indian wedding with Wendy Wu

sellingtravel.co.uk


TOURING 91

TALKING TO... SHEARINGS HOLIDAYS

Don’t define your customers

by their age, it’s all about

mindset and their personal

passions and interests

Touring is in vogue! People lead busy lives

so they’re looking for a holiday that’s easy

and touring makes sure they can get the best

value, money-wise but also in terms of time, because

they can more easily pack in all the must-see sights.

There’s a misconception about coach tours because

people remember what they travelled in for school.

Our coaches are up-to-date Mercedes Benz; the seat

pitch is larger than an airline’s and seats have lateral

movement. We also offer wifi and an entertainment

system, Roadshow, which lets travellers access films,

TV, podcasts and more through their own devices.

Trending now

Today it’s all about personalisation, so we offer Tour

and Explore packages which travel from place to

place; or Stay and Discover itineraries based in one

hotel with tours going out every day. There are pre- or

post-tour stays available too.

The perception of coach touring is that you’re

herded around in a big crowd and that’s the myth

Yellowstone National Park

JANE ATKINS

Managing Director

Shearings Holidays

YEARS IN THE

INDUSTRY: 30

FAVOURITE

HOLIDAY

DESTINATION: Italy

(love the food & wine)

TRAVEL DISASTER :

Forgetting my driving

licence on a fly-drive

(hubby took the wheel!)

that agents need to dispell. The only thing that’s

prescriptive about a coach tour is the travel itself.

Once you reach the destination you have freedom

– some people might do a walking tour, some will

explore independently and others may have prebooked

an extra excursion. If they wish, travellers can

just use the coach as a way to get from A to B.

Our Grand Tourer brochure is all about authenticity.

It has all the traditional stops like the Vatican in Rome

or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but we’ve added curated

elements that give a touch of local authenticity, such

as wine tasting in a chateau.

America is our most popular touring destination but

in Europe Italy comes top and in the UK, Scotland.

Borneo, launched a year ago, is growing in popularity

and has been boosted by Judi Dench’s documentary.

TV is a big influencer and agents should pay close

attention to what their customers may be watching.

The future of touring

We have lots of ideas on how to make tours more

individual and by 2020 agents will see more ways

to de-package, meaning they can mix and match

elements for a bespoke holiday. We’ll also be utilising

technology in our tours.

The goal is to broaden our appeal, although our core

market remains the over 55s. But don't define your

customers by their age, it’s all about mindset and their

personal passions and interests and our brochure

signposting aims to highlight each tours' focus.

An escorted tour is an end-to-end experience

and agents can get commission on all of it. We offer

great trade concessions because there’s nothing like

experiencing the product and if agents can offer firsthand

feedback that’s much more compelling

than a website. It’s all about adding value

and understanding what’s included.

sellingtravel.co.uk


This is

Escorted Touring

From Antrim to Antarctica, whether you dream of seeing Orangutans in the jungles of Borneo or

learning about the history of Budapest, a Shearings escorted tour provides you with the freedom,

fl exibility and opportunity to explore all corners of the world. With over 1,000 expertly-planned

itineraries visiting almost 200 destinations on all seven continents, the world is waiting!

Fancy taking to the water or visiting somewhere closer to home, then look no further. We are one of the best in the

business for our Britain and Ireland escorted tours, in addition to offering an unrivalled range of 62 European and

worldwide river cruise itineraries across 32 stunning ships, plus 20 ocean cruises.

Sit back, relax and let us handle the details whilst you marvel at famous sights, natural wonders

and hidden treasures- all brought to life by our tour managers and specialist local guides.

17 DAYS FROM

£2,065PP

Scandinavia & Land Of Midnight Sun

Join our epic journey beyond the Arctic

Circle, through some of the most breathtaking

and unspoilt scenery. Passing stunning fjord

landscapes and quaint fi shing villages along

our way, this will give us a wonderful taste of

what Scandinavia has to offer. Explore historic

capital cities, each with a unique character

and experience the spectacular natural

phenomenon of the ‘Midnight Sun’.

16 DAYS FROM

£1,628PP

Rome, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast

Join us on this fantastic holiday and enjoy

a stay in the stylish resort of Sorrento with

its cafes and shops. Admire the stunning

Amalfi coast, home to some of the

most breath-taking scenery in the world

and discover the iconic sights of the

‘Eternal City’ of Rome, one of the most

photographed cities in the world.

Best of Enchanting Ireland

13/15 DAYS FROM

£1,069PP

A land built on myths and legends and

sustained by local charm and hospitality,

the Emerald Isle is a place of stories.

Create your own with our tour around the

wild landscapes. dramatic seascapes and

the charismatic towns, and perhaps share

a tale or two over a pint of the ‘black stuff’.

May – July 2020

BY COACH

Also available by air

April – October 2020

BY COACH

May – September 2020 BY COACH

Also available by air

13 DAYS FROM

£2,589PP

22 DAYS FROM

£5,499PP

12 DAYS FROM

£1,829PP

Eastern Discovery

From the big cities, rural countryside and

history of the USA’s East Coast we cross

the border to Canada’s historic eastern

cities and the majesty of Niagara Falls that

spans the borders. We travel from city to

monument to natural wonders, immersed

in the beauty of these two countries.

New Zealand By Rail, Cruise & Coach

Discover both of New Zealand’s beautiful

islands on this tour, which includes 4

breathtaking rail journeys and 4 cruises.

From Maori traditions to British treaties, we

travel by rail, cruise and coach to see

geyers, glaciers and wildlife to give you an

authentic experience of the land of the

long white cloud.

Borneo Wilderness

From tropical rainforests to idyllic beaches,

experience exotic Borneo’s nature and

wilderness fi rst hand. With no less than 3

included river cruises, you will have plenty

of chances to spot the array of wildlife

that inhabits this mesmerising land, not to

mention the chance to view the infamous

Sepiok Orangutan.

April – September 2020

BY AIR

Sep - Nov 2019 - Jan - May 2020 • BY AIR

8 Sept 2019, 10 Jun & 15 Sept 2020 • BY AIR


Why choose

Shearings?

The UK’s largest escorted tour company

SHEARINGS

Over 100 years

of experience

Award-winning

holidays

Low deposits,

from £65pp *

Trusted hotels in

excellent

locations

Over 600

pick up points

nationwide

Over 200

destinations

worldwide

Flexible travel options by

coach, car, air and rail

Up to 20kg luggage

included in price †

Award Winning Holidays

facebook.com/groups/shearingstradeteam

Need to talk to us online – visit shearingsagent.com

and talk to us via webchat

Terms and conditions apply. All prices are from prices and based on 2 people sharing a standard twin/double room.

Single/room/cabin/fl ight supplements may apply. *£65pp deposit is based on UK coach holidays of 2 - 5 days only. †On UK and

European coach holidays only. Prices correct as of 01/07/19. E&OE


94

TOURING

FRESH TOURING IDEAS

BORNEO

CROATIA

Off the back of Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure,

Titan Travel has launched a 13-day Wild Borneo

tour. Exploring both the rivers and rainforest, it

offers wildlife encounters with orangutan and the

world's smallest bear. titantravel.co.uk

Dream Yacht Charters offers

seven-day sailing itineraries

across the Mediterranean.

Island hopping around Croatia

involves exploring uninhabited

islands and protected coves,

avoiding all the tourist traps.

dreamyachtsales.com

TUSCANY, ITALY

As Italy celebrates the year of 'slow tourism', why

not ease the pace and enjoy Tuscany by rail. Planet

Rail offers six nights at the Relais dei Molini, a

rural house set among olive trees. planetrail.co.uk

SOUTH AFRICA

Dine in period-style cars and sleep in luxurious

Gold category rooms on Rovos Rail’s new

Shongololo Express during an 18-night luxury

journey across South Africa. saga.co.uk

© SAGA/ SHONGOLOLO EXPRESS

FRENCH

POLYNESIA

Dive Worldwide offers yearround

diving in the UNESCO

Biosphere Reserve at Fakarava

atoll, part of the Tuamotu

group. Expect shark encounters

and humpback whales.

diveworldwide.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


TOURING 95

COLOMBIA

Rainbow Tours' new 12-day Colours of Colombia small-group

tour begins in Bogotá before heading through the coffee region’s

emerald hills to Caribbean Cartagena. Highlights include the

underground Zipaquira Salt Cathedral. rainbowtours.co.uk

COLOGNE, GERMANY

Is there anything more festive than a German Christmas

market tour featuring Aled Jones? The four-day trip features

a Christmas concert in Cologne’s Trinitatiskirche church,

featuring The Snowman singer himself. arenatravel.com

AROUND THE WORLD

BALTIC STATES

Shearings Holidays has an Around the

World in 30 Days tour. The whirlwind

trip includes visits to New York and Los

Angeles before clients jet off to New

Zealand’s North Island. Clients will

also get to see the Blue Mountains, just

outside of Sydney, followed by Hong

Kong and Singapore, before finishing on

safari in South Africa. shearingsagent.com

Thanks to its mainly flat terrain, cycling

is a great way to explore Latvia, Lithuania

and Estonia. The 11-day Cycle Tour in the

Baltics starts in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius,

and ends in Estonia's capital, Tallin. It also

takes in Latvia's capital, Riga, a national

park, beaches, Soviet architecture, a

medieval castle and a meteorite crater.

baltictravelcompany.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

32 NEW TOURS

New brochure out now!

Find a Golden Ticket to WIN!

We have hidden 50 Golden Tickets in our latest Holidays & Tours Collection

brochure packs! Order now for your chance to win a wonderful prize!

To redeem your prize, send a selfie with your voucher and tag Nic

Newmarket on Facebook. Enter by 31st July 2019. T&C’s apply.

Prizes include:

• 1x Lake Garda Holiday for 2

• 1x Samsung Galaxy Tablet

• 1x 6 bottles of wine

• 47x £20 Love2Shop Vouchers

Your Escorted Tour Specialists

For bookings, late availability offers, brochures, personalised posters & more,

visit www.newmarketholidays.co.uk/agents-login

or email us at travelagents@newmarketholidays.co.uk

Order our 2019-2021 brochure at www.tradegate.co.uk


TOURING 97

1

2

FIVE OFF-THE-

BEATEN-TRACK

TOURS

ISLAND HOPPING IN IRELAND. This

guided hiking adventure from Wilderness

Ireland (wildernessireland.com) includes

rambles along Inis Meáin in the Aran Islands;

Burren National Park, said to have inspired

Tolkien’s Middle Earth; and Killary Fjord, home

to friendly pods of dolphins.

3

CAPTAIN COOK’S NEW ZEALAND. A new

29-day self-drive from Silver Fern Holidays

(silverfernholidays.com) marks the 250th

anniversary of Captain Cook landing in New

Zealand. Designed to entice intrepid explorers,

it visits Ship Cove in Abel Tasman National

Park, accessible only by boat or on foot.

THE SWEDISH LAKE DISTRICT. Sunvil’s

(sunvil.co.uk) seven-night self-drive begins in

Southern Sweden’s rural Småland province. As

well as the pretty Lake Möckeln and the dense

forests of Store Mosse National Park, there’s

time to visit the IKEA museum in Älmhult and

discover more about those famous meatballs!

4

MONGOLIA EXPEDITION. Intrepid’s

(intrepid.com) 15-day Wilderness of the West

tour immerses guests in nomadic Mongolian

culture. Stay with families in traditional gers

and hear khoomii (traditional throat singing)

before joining Kazakh eagle hunters.

IN SEARCH OF THE SNOW LEOPARD.

Follow the tracks of this elusive cat in Natural

World Safaris' (naturalworldsafaris.com) journey

through the mountains of Ladakh, India. Along

the way, stop off at hilltop monasteries to

experience the tranquil life of the Buddhist

monks who meditate there.

5

sellingtravel.co.uk


98

TOURING

WYOMING

Is there anywhere more evocative of the

journey itself than the American West?

Its endless prairies, rushing rivers,

deep canyons and soaring mountains,

so sacred to Native Americans, proved

the ultimate challenge to settlers from

Europe. Now the ultimate touring

destination, Wyoming's wide-open roads

call to travellers from around the world.

travelwyoming.com

sellingtravel.co.uk


second edition

brochure

Our second edition features brand-new tours in Zimbabwe and southern

India, plus all 2020 departure dates (and 2021 departures on a selection

of long-haul holidays). Don’t forget, booking early guarantees your

customers the best price possible.

• VIP door-to-door travel service †

• Fly from an airport near you*

• Price Promise

• Guaranteed departures

Book online at www.titanagents.co.uk

†Mainland UK only. *Supplements may apply


GREAT LATE

GETAWAYS

FOR JULY & AUGUST

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


BOOK NOW FOR

SUMMER 2020

BOOK FOR JUST

OVER 50,000

FREE CHILD

DEPOSIT * PLACES *

PER PERSON

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

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