SEPTEMBER 2019 • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2018
DIVE INTO A
how to sell...
Agents need to know that the over 50s
are as adventurous and savvy as they
are time and cash rich
Return flights from UK airports
Pre/post-cruise hotel stay
Spacious all-verandah suite accommodation
Butler service for every guest and 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio
Choice of up to 10 on board dining experiences
THE NEW BENCHMARK
IN ULTRA LUXURY CRUISING
Truly All-Inclusive Luxury
Unlimited complimentary beverages*
Extensive choice of all-inclusive shore excursions
Scenic Enrich unique experiences
Expert Discovery Team and local experts
Zodiac, kayak, snorkel and snow-shoe adventures
The freedom of our e-bikes
550m 2 Senses Spa, gym, yoga and Pilates studio
Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
All tipping, transfers and taxes, on board and onshore
FREE private door-to-door chauffeur transfers
ANTARCTICA IN DEPTH
South Shetland Islands
South Orkney Islands
Departing Nov 2020 – Feb 2021
Nov 2021 – Feb 2022
Ushuaia > Ushuaia
Savings from £1,050 per person
16-day cruise from £9,725pp
Departing 18 & 26 July 2021
Reykjavik > Reykjavik
Savings from £750 per person
10-day cruise from £6,045pp
INCREDIBLE IBERIAN DISCOVERY
Soller de Mallorca
Departing 11 April 2021
Lisbon > Barcelona
Savings from £705 per person
9-day cruise from £4,980pp
Book the Ultimate in Luxury Call 0808 115 0463 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Terms and Conditions: Prices correct at time of going to print (20 August 2019). Prices advertised are based on two sharing a Verandah Suite paying the Earlybird fare with economy flights departing London Heathrow,
subject to availability. Prices include the advertised Earlybird saving plus an Early Payment Discount of £500 per suite. Early payment discount of £500 is per suite and based on two persons sharing. Discount will be
reduced for single occupancy. Full balance payment must be made on or before 31 December 2019 to receive this discount. Discount amount will be deducted from balance payment. ‡Supplements may apply for regional
departures. Private door-to-door transfers are complimentary within a 75 mile radius from your home address. For any journey over 75 miles, a £2.00 per mile
supplement will be charged. Offers are valid for new bookings only made before 30 September 2019 and can be withdrawn at any time. Earlybird Fares are strictly
limited. Pre-departure night included on all season departures – hotel stay will be allocated and booked by Scenic, includes bed and breakfast. Helicopter and
submarine activities are weather permitting, may incur additional costs and are subject to availability. *All drinks on board are included except for a very small
number of rare, fine and vintage wines, champagnes and spirits. Scenic Tours Pty trading as Scenic. Registered: 05770868
WE TRAVEL FURTHER TO BRING YOU MORE
08 Peru: New cruise, rail
and luxury options
41 South Florida: Why
the south side is more
than just theme parks
12 Six of the best: Dubai
38 Destination Profile:
44 How to sell: Myanmar
48 My journey: Cruising
the South Pacific
51 Destination Profile:
65 My trip to: Las Vegas
66 Six of the best: New
South Wales islands
67 Exploring: Tobago
70 How to sell: Northern
55 Top news stories plus
hotel reviews and a
Sri Lanka news report
15 News, competitions,
80 Interview: Titan Travel
82 Fresh Ideas
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
8/13/19 12:39 PM
FAM TRIP REPORT
Experience the Cowboy State through the eyes of seven
travel professionals who travelled hundreds of miles and
experienced its unique culture and awe inspiring landscapes
8/27/19 04:03 PM
Isn't it ironic?
TRADE PUBLICATION OF
THE YEAR – PRINT & ONLINE
Jessica Pook, Sasha Wood
& April Waterston
Andy Hoskins & Julie Baxter
DESIGN & PRODUCTION
It's always sad when a much-loved brand collapses but the
demise of the always-trade-friendly Super Break is still
clearly making an impact.
Many agents took to social media to pay tribute to the people
who worked for Super Break, and supported the trade in selling
its products. But as you can see on our social media page (32),
they also bemoaned the hole it has left in the UK breaks market.
It’s ironic, really, that the operator collapsed at a time when
domestic breaks are on the up; but of course it wasn’t Super
Break that was failing, but its parent company.
The travel industry isn’t a stranger to irony, and the Sri Lanka
bombings, also coming at a boom time for tourism to the
country, were a tragic twist of fate. I’m so happy to hear that there are emerging signs
of a slow recovery and you can read more about how the trade is driving this in our Sri
Lanka news report on page 60.
On a more upbeat note, our special section this month looks at the buoyant and
lucrative – for agents at least – over 50s market. It’s difficult, perhaps counter-productive,
to break any industry down into age groups and I was hesitant to even write 'over 50s'.
As someone who recently celebrated a birthday, I know age is a touchy subject!
But please, whether you are over 50 or not, take the time to read our feature on travel
trends in this sector (p76), because the point it makes is that each traveller is unique
and, like everyone else, this age group just wants new destinations and ever-more
exciting experiences. And please forgive us if you find the cover image this month a bit
stereotypical. All I can say is, I hope my 50s look just like that!
Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis
& Zoe Tarrant
PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER
(PRINT) ISSN 2056-9319. ©BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2019.
SELLING TRAVEL IS PUBLISHED BY BMI PUBLISHING
LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON,
SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233
BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
WE ARE MEMBERS OF THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM
ORGANIZATION, VISIT USA ASSOCIATION, LATA, PATA,
MENATA, SATOA, THE FOREIGN AIRLINES ASSOCIATION
AND THE INSTITUTE OF TRAVEL & TOURISM.
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COVER IMAGE: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
With this issue
This publication is printed on Revivew 100 Media and Revive
recycled coated, recycled paper grades that are FSC®
Recycled certified and Carbon Balanced.
Travel Guide 2019/2020
Latin America Travel Guide
The 2019/2020 edition maps out
adventures, iconic sights and
events in the region, and puts
luxury, cruise and wildlife in focus.
Wyoming Fam Trip Report
The story of a journey which seven
agents took around the Cowboy
State this May and what they learnt
about how to sell it.
Visit www.sellingtravel.co.uk and please
Vote for Newmarket Holidays at the 2019 Selling Travel
Agents Choice Awards in the following categories:
• Best Short Haul Escorted Tours Company
• Best River Cruising Company – Short haul
Untitled-3 1 19/08/2019 15:59
Selling Travel HPH 210x146 Ed Sep 2019_09.indd 1 19/08/2019 15:31
the big picture 7
Second city soaring
Chicago has reported a 15% spike in
UK visitors for 2018. It puts this down
to special events like Chicago Theater
Week, which had a record-breaking
year, and a boom in new hotels. Eight
big names opened their doors in
2018, including Moxy Hotel; The
Hoxton opened this year and Nobu
Hotel will join in 2020. New York and
now Los Angeles have larger
populations, but locals still refer to
Chicago as ‘the Second City’.
Peru’s tourism appeal is evolving, says Sarah Gilbert,
who explains how to sell Peru as a rail and cruise
holiday, a luxury escape or an adventure tour
My breath is ragged, my heart
is pounding and I feel on
top of the world. A distant
glacier glitters in the sunlight, its
jagged peaks reflected in the mirrorflat
surface of a sapphire-blue lake.
And save for our small group and some
docile llamas there isn’t another living
thing in sight.
I am taking the Inca road less travelled
on Mountain Lodges of Peru’s Sacred
Valley and Lares Adventure; innovative
five- and seven-day programmes that mix
high-end lodges, hiking and culture with
sustainable practices that directly benefit
Daily activities are divided into ‘easy’,
‘moderate’ and ‘challenging’. One morning
I climb up to the Challwaccasa Pass, then
down to the small farming community of
Viacha that sits among fields of red quinoa
and purple lupin, high above Pisac’s 15thcentury
My reward is pachamanca, a traditional
Inca feast where meat and vegetables
are layered into a hole in the ground and
slow-cooked for hours. I am also given the
opportunity to buy vibrant weavings, far
removed from the tourist groups.
In the Andean village of Huachahuasi,
giggling children in red hats and ponchos
scamper past on their way to school and
women, their cheeks fat with coca leaves,
sit spinning wool outside adobe homes.
My contemporary lodge’s floor-to-ceiling
windows frame the stunning landscapes
and rooms come with alfresco hot tubs to
sooth those post-hike muscles.
My journey ends at the magnificent
Machu Picchu and although I marvel at
the Inca’s architectural prowess, I realise
that the highlight had been getting an
off-the-beaten-track glimpse into their
descendants’ everyday lives.
Sell it: Journey Latin America offers the 11-day
Peru: Beyond the Sacred Valley with the Lares
Adventure, including the five-day Lares trek,
mid-range hotels, domestic flights, excursions
including Machu Picchu, transfers and most meals.
International flights are extra
The full package
Peru packs in everything from colonial
cities to ancient ruins, glacier-tipped peaks
to the Amazon rainforest.
New flights have boosted connectivity
from the UK and within the country,
accommodation options and tourism
infrastructure have improved, and luxury
trains, world-class expedition cruises and
gourmet restaurants are now all adding to
“Peru welcomed 74,124 UK visitors
last year, a 7% increase on 2017,” says
Elisabeth Hakim, UK & North America
Market Coordinator at PromPeru.
“International tourism arrivals reached a
record-breaking 4,419,430 in 2018.”
Between now and 2021, investments
in the tourism sector will exceed $790
million, with 22 new four- and five-star
hotel projects currently under construction
– 17 in Lima alone.
While Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu
still dominate itineraries, northern Peru is
becoming increasingly popular.
“The Kuelap Cable Car has made this pre-
Inca mountaintop city more accessible”
says Isabelle Mazille, Product Manager at
Journey Latin America.
“And the gentle coastal city of Mancora is
ideal for a post-sightseeing beach break, with
high-end accommodation and humpback
whale-watching from July to October.”
An increased train schedule means that
it’s easy to visit Machu Picchu on a day trip
from the Sacred Valley, but Peru’s home to
a host of less-visited archaeological gems,
including Choquequirao in the south and
Chan Chan in the northwest.
Adventure travellers can tackle highaltitude
hikes beyond the Inca Trail, such
as the Salkantay Trek and Ausangate.
Gastronomy is another major draw, with
Lima featured in the 2018 series finale of
BBC’s MasterChef and Peruvian restaurants
now regularly topping many of the ‘world’s
Cruise & train
Departing from the jungle town of Iquitos,
Aqua Expeditions offers three-, four- and
seven-night itineraries on its ship Aria
Amazon, exploring the Pacaya-Samiria
National Reserve in northeast Peru.
Spread over two decks, 16 stylish riverfacing
suites come with picture windows
and expert naturalist guides take guests
to spot sloth, caiman, monkeys and more.
Gastronomy is also high on the agenda.
Launching in August 2020, the 20-suite
Aqua Nera will follow the same model.
THE CORdILLERA BLANCA MOuNTAINS
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
perurail - the andean explorer
Also offering luxury on the Amazon is
Delfin, the first Relais & Châteaux cruise,
with three options: Delfin III with 22 suites,
Delfin II with 14, and Delfin I with just four.
La Perla’s three boats and three-, four- and
seven-night cruises are a mid-range option.
Cruise lines including Princess, Celebrity,
Oceania, Norwegian and P&O have the
port of Callao near Lima on their South
American itineraries, and Regent Seven
Seas sails from Miami to Lima on its
15-night Paradise to Peru cruise, with the
option for a three-night land extension.
Getting to Machu Picchu by train has
never been easier. PeruRail and IncaRail
both have various options from Cusco or
Ollantaytambo, depending on the season.
The Belmond Hiram Bingham train – Latin
America’s Orient Express – throws in oldworld
glamour, cocktails and fine dining.
South America’s first luxury sleeper train,
while the 24 ensuite-cabin Belmond Andean
Explorer, is an opulent hotel-on-wheels that
whisks guests on a two-night journey from
Cusco to Lake Titicaca and on to Arequipa.
Sell it: Kuoni offers a 21-night Paradise to Peru
Stay & Cruise holiday, including British Airways
flights from Heathrow and transfers. The price
for departure on October 31, based on two adults
sharing, is from £9,995pp. kuoni.co.uk
Staying in luxury lodges
Inkaterra has been blazing the ecotourism
trail for more than 40 years, with seven
properties, including its sprawling cloudforest
sanctuary, Machu Picchu Pueblo
Hotel, and three rustic-luxe Amazon
lodges next to the wildlife-rich Tambopata
National Reserve in southeast Peru. They
all help to support conservation projects,
including rainforest reforestation and a
spectacled bear rescue centre.
As well as trains, Belmond operates six
hotels in Peru, including the historic Hotel
Monasterio and Palacio Nazarenas in
Cusco, Las Casitas in the majestic Colca
Canyon and Sanctuary Lodge, the only
hotel at the entrance to Machu Picchu.
Luxury lodging includes the art-filled
Hotel B in Barranco, Lima’s buzziest barrio,
Titilaka on the shores of Lake Titicaca,
both Relais & Chateaux, and the landmark
Country Club Lima Hotel. Hotels due to
be unveiled by 2021 include six Hiltons in
Lima and a Sheraton in Cusco.
Sell it: Rainbow Tours has a 12-night Luxury Peru
with Belmond itinerary with stays at Belmond’s
properties in Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the
Sacred Valley, plus tickets for the Belmond Andean
Explorer sleeper train, from £5,490pp including
flights and transfers. rainbowtours.co.uk
Adventure all the way
Peru offers plenty for adventurers, from
high-altitude hiking to mountain biking
and horse riding through remote villages.
As well as the Lares Adventure and the
challenging seven-day lodge-to-lodge
Salkantay Trek, Mountain Lodges of Peru
is offering three nights in the Sacred Valley
with an optional excursion to Machu Picchu.
Other new programmes focus on yoga and
wellness, archi-astronomy and Andean
festivals. With the new X.O Art House, it has
three boutique hotels in Cusco.
Tucked into a quiet corner of the Sacred
Valley and surrounded by Inca terraces,
Explora’s first lodge outside Chile – the
all-inclusive Explora Valle Sagrado – is less
hotel, more luxe base camp and offers 30
differen ‘explorations’, most on two feet or
two wheels, that take guests to deserted
Inca ruins and up snow-capped peaks for
the ultimate mix of action and leisure.
Sell it: National Geographic Expeditions offers
a 10-day Peru: Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Trek
itinerary, including hiking the Cordillera de
Vilcabamba. Prices start from £5270pp, including
accommodation, meals, transfers and an expert
adventure guide. Group sizes are restricted to 12
and tours depart between April and October 2020.
six of the best
When Guinness World Records decided to open an office in
the Middle East, it was obviously going to be Dubai.
Laura Gelder explains why
Dubai’s most iconic
building and the
world’s tallest, the
Khalifa is a sight to
behold and also
home to the world’s highest bar – Atmosphere.
However, it’s set to be overtaken by The Tower at
Dubai Creek Harbour, scheduled to open in 2020
and 928 metres high with a 360-degree
observation platform, hotel, restaurants and
vertical gardens. Also in Dubai is the tallest hotel
in the world, the 77-storey JW Marriott Marquis.
The Dubai Mall was
the largest in the
world by land area
when it opened in
2008 and, at over 13
million square feet,
it’s still up there with the greats. Not content to
rest on its laurels, the mall got into the Guinness
Records again last year with a giant Christmas
bauble weighing 1,100kg. It’s also home to
Candylicious, which Dubai Tourism says is the
world’s largest sweet shop, spanning around
1,000 square metres.
The Dubai Fountain
is the world’s largest
fountain system, set
on the 30-acre
Khalifa Lake. The jets release up to 22,000 gallons
of water as high as 140 metres in the air and
each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to
music ranging from classical to contemporary but
always in sync. The show takes place every 30
minutes from 18.00 daily and is a popular event
for locals and tourists.
Orlando now has a
real rival after four
major theme parks
opened in Dubai in
2016. The list
includes IMG Worlds
of Adventure, which is the world’s largest indoor
theme park, with dedicated Marvel and Cartoon
Network zones. Dubai’s biggest water park,
Aquaventure, will soon become the biggest in the
world with the addition of a giant new tower as
well as 12 new slides. Other theme parks include
the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate, with rides
based on blockbusters such as Madagascar.
Dubai is home to a
number of the
artifical islands –
successful than others. The World, a group of
islands in the shape of the world’s countries,
famously racked up debts of $60 billion and is
still largely unpopulated. Perhaps the biggest
success was the Palm Jumeirah, recognisable
from space and home to some of Dubai’s most
luxurious resorts, including Atlantis The Palm and
One&Only The Palm.
In the frame
The Dubai Frame at
Zabeel Park holds
the Guinness World
Record for the
largest picture frame
ever. At a soaring
height of 150 metres, the Dubai Frame boasts
sweeping, panoramic views of both Old and New
Dubai. The 93-metre-long bridge features a
25-square-metre glass panel bridge that gives
visitors the experience of walking on air and an
immersive gallery that showcases the past and
makes predictions about Dubai’s future. No doubt
it includes more superlative attractions!
For clients looking to experience the best of what Calgary has to offer, suggest
these stops for an action-packed two days in the city
THE BOW RIVER
FIRST NATIONS DANCE
DAY 1 - Early to rise
Morning: To get your city bearings
head to the CALGARY TOWER. Stand
191 metres above terra firma on the
glass floor of the world’s highest
360-degree observation deck and enjoy
unsurpassed panoramic views of the city
skyline and the distant Canadian Rocky
Then glide down the pathways of central
Calgary on a guided SEGWAY TOUR. See
the sites as you learn all about the city’s
history, art and architecture.
EAST VILLAGE is a vibrant community
with walkable access to public art and
culture, entertainment hubs and public
spaces like the
River Walk and
new retail and
Stroll along the
Bow River, and
cross over to St.
setting in the
heart of the city.
Have lunch in the historic Simmons
building, East Village.
Afternoon: HERITAGE PARK
HISTORICAL VILLAGE charts
the history and growth of
early Western Canadian history over four
eras. You will hear stories and may meet
fur traders, First Nations people, railway
workers and prairie town folk. A highlight
of 1910 village is the Gasoline Alley
Museum. Then board the Thundering
Steam Train and/or a paddlewheeler boat.
Evening: Enjoy a WALKING FOOD
TOUR in one of Calgary’s many
You’ll sip, sample and savour a range
of products and meet local food artisans
along the way. Or stroll along the river
pathway to Prince’s Island Park, another
green oasis in the city.
Dine at the award-winning River Café in
the park and during the summer catch one
of the many performances or concerts that
are staged there.
Skyline Luge Calgary is a
wheeled gravity ride that
gives thrill seekers full
control over their descent as
they drop over 100 metres”
DAY 2 - Go with good speed
Morning: WINSPORT, the legacy
site of the 1988 Winter Olympic
Games, is home to Canada's
Sports Hall of Fame where visitors can
participate in interactive activities and
learn about Canada’s sporting history.
New sports men and women are
inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame
every year, and their stories are shared
through curated exhibitions, immersive
experiences and digital narratives.
The family-friendly SKYLINE LUGE
CALGARY is a unique wheeled gravity
ride that gives thrill seekers full control
over their descent on a purpose-built 1.8
kilometres track that
drops over 100 metres.
ski jump tower offers
North America's fastest
ZIPLINE. Riders reach
speeds of 120km/h as
they travel 500 metres
and experience a
vertical drop of over
Afternoon: STEPHEN AVENUE
WALK is a pedestrian walk,
situated along 8 Ave SW (Stephen
Avenue) and spanning six blocks in the
heart of downtown Calgary.
Along the way you may see buskers,
festivals and live music, while for shoppers,
there are nine major shopping centres
and department stores, an eclectic mix
of boutiques and galleries and some of
Calgary's finest restaurants, pubs, cafés
Then view downtown Calgary from its
original highway, the BOW RIVER. Marvel
at the city's architecture as you float under
the modern Peace Bridge and the historic
Centre Street Bridge.
Evening: Many of Calgary’s
favourite hot spots are found on
17th AVENUE, including more than
20 restaurants, lounges and inspirational
cafes. 17th Avenue is also a shopping
destination, featuring eclectic and trendy
shops and boutiques.
INSPIRED BY YOU
The inside track on travel
rewarding your votes
with prizes. Find out
more about our awards
on page 17
AIR Transat is rewarding
agents who make
bookings to Calgary,
Canada, with shopping
vouchers as part of its
Star Rewards incentive
programme. Agents are
rewarded with £10 for
each Economy booking
made and £20 for Club
Class tickets. Bookings
must be made before
September 12 for travel before
September 27, 2019. airtransatgiveaway.com
Discounted stays at QE2 ship
QUEEN Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is offering a discounted
price for agents staying before September 30.
Docked permanently at Dubai’s Mina Rashid,
a standard room costs from £45 per night
and a double standard room from £50, inclusive of all taxes.
Agents should email email@example.com to redeem. qe2.com
October 7,8 & 9
SELLING TRAVEL AGENTS CHOICE AWARDS EVENTS
Join our biggest networking party of the year in London on October 7,
Leeds on October 8 or Manchester on October 9. Meet tour operators,
airlines, cruise representatives and more and be in with a chance of
winning some top prizes. Sign up at sellingtravel.co.uk/events
AGENTS could win return
flights to Abu Dhabi as
part of If Only's ‘Etihad
Airways – To Arabia &
Beyond’ campaign. To win,
agents must book Arabia,
the Indian Ocean or Phuket
with Etihad before the end
of the year. ifonly.net
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
WHERE LUXURY IS PERSONAL
ATHENS TO BARCELONA | VOYAGE OCY191023-13
CRYSTAL SERENITY | 23 OCTOBER 2019 | 13 NIGHTS
Head of Sales
Tel: 07921 949469 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Sales Manager
Tel: 07896 971316
Regional Sales Manager
North & Scotland
Tel: 07841 921533
CRUISE ONLY FARES FROM
Deluxe Stateroom (C3 Grade)
Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah (B3 Grade)
from £2,757 per person
from £3,911 per person
Northern Ireland & Eire
Tel: 02890 642252
Trade Sales Support
Tel: 020 7399 7602
Athens, Santorini, Catania, Sorrento, Rome/Civitavecchia,
Piombino, Livorno/Florence (overnight), Monte Carlo (overnight),
Marseille and Barcelona (overnight).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING, PLEASE CALL:
020 7399 7601 www.crystalcruises.co.uk
Fares are per person, cruise only in UK sterling based on double occupancy in the specified stateroom grade and include port, security and handling charges, which vary by departure. All fares, offers and
itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. Fares may fluctuate and should be used as a guide only. Prices may go up or down. You should contact us on 0207 399
7601 before booking, or visit our website www.crystalcruises.co.uk. The fares are available to new bookings only and are only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See crystalcruises.co.uk for
complete terms and conditions of all offers. ©2019 Crystal Cruises, LLC. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas.
• Amazing prizes •
Airlines & Airports
airLine to the far east:
Cathay Pacific , Japan Airlines,
Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways,
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,
airLine to the miDDLe east: Emirates,
Etihad Airways , Gulf Air, Oman Air,
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,
airLine for premium CLass:
Air New Zealand, British Airways, China
Southern Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic
airLine for eConomy CLass:
El AL, 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 Airport,
Liverpool John Lennon Airport, London City
Airport, London Gatwick, Manchester Airport
vote to WIN...
A stay at Reef Villa
Indulge in some spa treatments or
find your zen practicing yoga while
staying at the peaceful Reef Villa
& Spa in Sri Lanka.
aIrlINe to North amerIca
It’s a real honour for
us to be nominated
again, so a big thank you to
our travel agent community.
We’ve been raising awareness
of our new flights and cabins,
in addition to our nomination,
through training sessions and
via email. Hopefully
this will help us win
Delta Air Lines
City Break: Abu Dhabi, Hong
Kong, Lisbon, Macao, Tel Aviv
Destination for Beach – Long Haul:
Bali, Cook Islands, Mauritius, Philippines,
Destination for Beach – Short Haul:
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jersey
Destination for Wildlife & Nature:
Belize, Botswana, Costa Rica, Peru,
Destination for Soft Adventure:
Australia, Canada, Chile, Namibia,
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,
Favourite Training Event/
Roadshow: Caribbean Tourism
Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Destination New South Wales, Visit Orlando,
destination for soft adventure
It’s great that agents
appeal as an adventure
destination and we feel
honoured to have been voted
for. We're working with our
provincial, territorial, airline
and tour operator partners to
Tour operator to Africa:
African Pride, Cosmos, Gambia
Experience, Kuoni, Somak Holidays
Tour Operator to Australasia & the
Far East: APT, Collette,
G Adventures, Jetset 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,
short haul escourted tours
This award was the
first from the readers
of Selling Travel, so we were
absolutely thrilled to be
recognised and to win
amongst such stiff
competition. We launched our
summer brochures earlier
than ever this year and added
new destinations, tour-only
options and beach
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,
vote TO WIN...
A stay at Ness Walk
Be treated to a luxurious one-night
stay (worth £400 – £800) at the new
five-star Ness Walk Hotel in
Inverness, Scotland. You'll enjoy
Champagne and canapés when
The Perfect Winter Holiday
at A Perfect Price
Round trip Round trip
from £ 260
from £ 245
Book your Flight now!
Contact your travel agent or call us at 020 7624 9708
or go online at www.elal.co.uk
*Travel Period starts 1.11-31.3.2019
Round trip includes a meal and Hand luggage
PLEASE VOTE FOR US
BY VISITING: WWW.SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
AIRLINE TO EUROPE
- JET2.COM -
TOUR OPERATOR TO
EUROPE & NORTH AFRICA
- JET2HOLIDAYS -
THANK YOU FOR YOUR
*Terms and conditions apply. Please see Jet2holidays trade website for full details.
19-08-164 Untitled-8 • 1Selling Travel Advert - 277mm x 190mm.indd 1 sellingtravel.co.uk
20/08/2019 17:13 17:23
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, Riviera
River Cruising – Short Haul: A-ROSA,
CroisiEurope, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines,
Newmarket Holidays, Crystal Cruises
River Cruising – Long Haul:
Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises, Scenic
Cruises & Tours, Titan Travel, Uniworld
Boutique River Cruise Collection
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
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 Ras Al Khaimah, W
AM Resorts, Club Med, Hard Rock Hotels All
Inclusive Collection, bodyholiday Saint Lucia,
Our travel agent
partners are integral
to the success of our business
so knowing that it was them
who voted for us to win this
award really meant a lot.
We're working harder than
ever to see and train as many
agents as possible
as well as host
Hard Rock Hotels
Vote TO WIN...
Food tour tickets
Eating Europe is offering food tours
(worth £180) with a choice of
locations in London, Amsterdam,
Prague, Paris, Rome, Naples,
Lisbon, Strasbourg or Florence.
All of our business
comes through the
trade so to be recognised by
them as the best is the
we could possibly
Best of the Rest
Do Something Different, Holiday Extras
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,
Warner Leisure Hotels
Vote TO WIN...
Aussie travel essentials
Destination New South Wales is
providing a bag of the ultimate travel
accessories, including a Vivid Sydney
iPad case, plus a lightweight
Sydney-themed beach towel.
You may have noticed that we've changed a few things this year, which we
hope reflects this ever-changing travel industry. There is a new award up for
grabs in the Destinations category, one for the most eco friendly destination.
We've also reflected the significant growth and importance of the cruise industry,
with short haul and long haul sub-categories in the awards for the best river and
ocean cruise providers. Plus, see below for details on our separate trade rep category.
Happy voting! sellingtravel.co.uk/awards/vote
travel uni training programme
Thailand Expert has
developed over the last four
years, taking into
consideration agent feedback.
We are pleased to say that to
date we have 5,800 travel
agents and sales consultants
engaged with our Thailand
Expert training and hope to
numbers over the
Tourism Authority of
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
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
Who’s top of the pops?
To help you decide, meet with your travel industry favourites at
our Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards events next month
London, October 7 Leeds, October 8 Manchester, October 9
• MEET a selection of the finalists in
our awards - tour operators, hotels,
airlines, cruise lines, destinations
and more will attend
• WIN one of a fantastic selection of
prizes up for grabs supplied by
every event partner
• CATCH-UP with industry colleagues
and enjoy our hospitality
Sign up now at:
All our hotels are in dreamlike settings, but if we can go the extra step, rest assured that
we have what it takes to surprise you, over and over again, so you’ll keep wondering what’s next?
MAURITIUS • RÉUNION • MALDIVES • CHINA • TURKEY • VIETNAM • U.A.E • ITALY
Untitled-1 1 22/08/2019 08:43
8/28/18 4:53 PM
AN EXPERIENCE AWAITS IN
OVER 1,000 LOUNGES WORLDWIDE.
With Gold status, you and a guest can enjoy more lounges than any other alliance
including our relaxing lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
To learn more, visit our dedicated UK website at staralliance.co.uk
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Training, events and fam trips
Agents ride into the
Prestige Canada hosted four agents on a
three-day visit to Calgary, Canada, where
they experienced the city's famous
Stampede, a 10-day-long celebration
of Western heritage, spirit and First
Embracing the theme, they donned
cowboy hats to enjoy the rodeo and
chuckwagon races and also had
a behind-the-scenes tour of the
While in the city, the agents explored
some of its tourist attractions such as
the Calgary Tower and Heritage Park.
They also made a stop at Studio Bell –
home of the National Music Centre.
Thanks to agent bookings, 70 trees were
planted in Thailand's Khao Sok National
Park this summer.Gold Medal, Travel
2 and the luxury tented jungle camp
Elephant Hills ran a partnership incentive
throughout April and May which saw
agents make 70 bookings to the camp
– resulting in 70 trees planted. Elephant
Hills is an eco retreat which looks after
elephants and sponsors veterinary
training at the local Elephant Hospital.
Delegates from the cities of St Louis,
Kansas City, and Independence joined
Ward Franz, Director of Tourism for
Missouri (third from left) on the state's
recent UK mission. Agents from Ascot
Travel, American & Worldwide Travel,
Major Travel and Travelpack were
updated on some important anniversaries
taking place in the state, including the
100th anniversary of Prohibition in
2020 and the bicentennial of Missouri
becoming the U.S.'s 24th state (in 2021).
The Jamaica Tourist
Board offered agents
from Flight Centre, Best
At Travel, Not Just Travel,
Stoke Newington Travel
and Exsus a taste of the
Caribbean with a jerk
cooking masterclass and
learnt all about the island's
most popular dish. The
JTB's Donovan Donaldson
was on hand to provide
some essential destination
training and key selling tips
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 email@example.com
Meet... STEVE FREWIN
Director, A Golfing Experience
Consortium hosts a BRIGHT
Thirty agents from 15 agencies joined BRIGHT at its
summer workshop and dinner in Ipswich, which raised
£208 for the Ipswich Hospice. The workshop, hosted by
BRIGHT members Kirker Holidays, First Class Holidays,
Exodus, Veloso, Viking Cruises, Cox and Kings, African Pride
and Sunvil, encouraged the consortium’s independent
agents to discuss their marketing initiatives and business
Qatar hits the green
In a bid to promote Qatar as an up-and-coming golf
destination, the tourist board co-hosted a golf day with
partners Discover Qatar, Qatar Airways, Education City
Golf Club and Doha Golf Club. The event brought together
40 UK trade, including golf specialists from Exclusive Golf,
GolfHolidays.com, Golf Breaks, Kenwood Travel and Audley
Travel. The newly opened Education City Golf Club in Doha,
features the first Trackman driving range in the city, as well
as a power tee and indoor putting green. visitqatar.qa
WHERE THE GRASS IS GREENER
I’m trying to concentrate as I tee off from the 18th hole
at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, but I'm slightly distracted
by my surroundings. I’ve just enjoyed two holes with the
Caribbean Sea lapping on one side and another three with
uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean. As far as golf
courses go, this is pretty spectacular.
Golf is highly regarded on the island and this is reflected in
the quality of the course. The grass is immaculate, fringed by
palm trees, and I can't help but marvel at the layout, which
features 80 bunkers and ten water hazards - they don't make
it easy for you!
But the course isn't just
for serious golfers, lessons
are available for beginners
and there's a great driving
range for those that just
want to practice their
swing. And what better
motivation to finish than
the 19th hole (the bar) on
The highlight of the golfing calendar has
to be the annual Admirals Cup, St. Kitts' premier event for
visiting golfers. The Am-Am Division of the five-day team
tournament from February 1-6, 2020, features teams of two
amateurs competing against other pairs from across the
U.S., Canada, UK and the Caribbean. It's a great opportunity
to bring people together from across the world to celebrate
the sport and the event's 10th anniversary. Attendees will
also cross over to sister island Nevis to compete on the
Robert Trent Jones II championship course at the Four
Seasons Resort. Take it from my experience, that hole-in-one
is harder than it looks!
New £50 incentive for your bookings.
While many of
their clients take
are beefing up
We ask our
Agents out in force
at the Yorkshire
sitting in front
of a PowerPoint
AS I write this I'm reflecting on an afternoon
of ‘How to sell Luxury Travel’ with The Travel
Network Group at The Ivy in London.
It was a great few hours, with Q&As from
key tour operators in the market and a
discussion about the word ‘luxury’ and
whether that is an appropriate term for our
'discerning customers' (a term coined by Ted
Wake of Kirker Holidays).
It's days like these which get my brain
whirring and are extremely beneficial to
my professional development. It's a chance
to learn more and ask questions about
running a business and what I can do to keep
improving my service and my sales.
I find experiential training so much better
than sitting in front of a PowerPoint. It's also
a chance to swap ideas and learn from other
agents and companies – essential when
working in a small, independent agency.
Travelling is also a key to training: up to
date, first-hand information and experience
helps you to develop as an agent. And who
doesn’t love a trip away?
I'm just back from Greece and it has reignited
my love for the people, culture and
lifestyle (not to mention the food).
Returning from such a a trip, I always feel
enriched personally and professionally. My
passion for travel is stoked and, moreover, I
can sell Greece with even more confidence.
Next, I'm heading to Québec with Air
Transat and Québec Original. Roll on a chance
to explore more of Canada, a country I love,
with industry colleagues. Happy travels!
I HAVE only been in travel for 13 years and
am totally focused on river and small ship
cruising, a relatively tiny niche, and yet I am
still learning every day about new ships, new
operators, new regulations, etc.
I am in total awe of all those agents who
sell everything from cross-Channel ferries
to safaris, from skiing to package beach
holidays... How do they learn to sell such a
range of product?
Training needs to cover a number of
elements if an agent is going to be at all
competent – from basic regulations and trade
associations through to detailed product
knowledge. I find old-fashioned reading to
be the best way to brush up on the everchanging
industry. Group discussions with
my fellow GoCruise franchisees also help sort
out the total mess of regulations we face in
the cruising sector. Webinars are useful in
that they can be joined from the desk, but
the standard of so many is, frankly, poor
with people just reading from a PowerPoint
presentation. I find structured learning
through online training much more effective.
However, nothing beats actually
experiencing a new product. Hence I am now
confident in selling the new AmaMagna, a
double-width river cruise ship, after a week
sailing the Danube. I believe it will attract
many ocean cruisers looking for their first
THE FAMILY BUSINESS
Southern Cross Travel,
THE CRUISE SPECIALIST
Go Cruise, Cruise specialist,
support of a
allowed us to
AT VENTURE Travel we are regularly visited
by reps from numerous different sectors of
the travel market.
What is great about these visits is that we
not only get to meet with suppliers who
we regularly book with but also suppliers
whose product we hadn’t considered selling
or had little knowledge of.
The fact that these companies take the
time to come and talk to us face to face
shows how lucky we are as agents to be
in an industry where help is always at
hand – whether you need to improve your
product knowledge or find solutions to any
problems you may have.
Although it might feel like it sometimes,
you are never actually on your own.
This leads me into my next point, which
is about being a member of the Global
Travel Group, a consortium for independent
agencies. The team has been amazing in
supporting us grow the business since
starting two years ago. Before we launched
they provided us with a two-week training
course, running through all the systems,
suppliers and back office programmes they
offer. We still have regular contact with
the Business Development Manager and
the Commercial and Finance teams, which
makes running the business much easier
for us. Having such great relationships
with Global and our suppliers is something
we really value – without their support
we wouldn’t have been able to grow the
business as fast as we have done.
THE ONLINE AGENCY
BEN & HUGH
Venture Travel, Mold,
I HAVE to start by addressing the sad news
about the collapse of Super Break. They were
a great company with some fantastic staff. I
hope they all find new jobs soon.
On a more positive note, the Yorkshire
Travel Ball was a roaring success – and
thank you to Selling Travel for sponsoring
the magician. We raised £4,500 in total,
which was split between the Greek Cat
Welfare Society, Soi Dog Foundation, SOS
Wildlife, Starlight Barking Trust and Santorini
Donkeys. We also donated £500 to Cancer
Research in the name of Rachel Dawson from
Millhouses Travel in Sheffield, who sadly lost
her own battle in June. I’m already preparing
for next year's bash, which will be held on
July 16 at The Village Hotel, South Leeds.
I think training is vital for travel agents and
should be done on a regular basis as things
are changing all the time. In the past it was
something you did as and when a rep called
in. But why not open late once a month to
allow for staff training, and arrange a rep to
come in and update you on their products?
There's also an abundance of online
training programmes which can be done
when time allows – these are particularly
important for homeworkers.
I still think one of the best training tools is
to go on a fam trip. It allows you to paint a
picture to your customer, which makes it so
much easier to sell.
Training keeps us progressing
professionally, which leads me to my thought
of the month: 'Don’t be afraid to go out on a
limb, that is where the fruit is.'
Why not open
late once a
month for staff
THE HOME WORKER
Sandy's Travel Escapes
Ben and Hugh with the
Global Travel team
Sandy at the Yorkshire
Travel Ball with Jessica
Pook from Selling Travel
Tui aren't going to
after all. But are
they integral to
Myths & legends in Eastern Europe
BY SUE BROAD, SALES CONSULTANT
TRIANGLE TRAVEL LIMITED
So firmly entrenched are we in the
'Dracula myth' that some believe
Transylvania isn't a real place! But it
is a region of Romania and, yes, there
actually was a real Dracula – Vlad
Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler.
While the myth is exaggerated for
the tourists Romania is still a
fascinating country with some
truly unique sights.
I discovered the region
on a Cox & Kings fam
trip, visiting the old
towns of Brasov and
Sighisoara, with narrow
cobbled streets, wonky but
brightly painted buildings,
covered wooden walkways and
ornate clock towers.
A stop at Cluj Napoca, one of the
bigger cities, provided a slightly more
modern feel. Home to an opera house,
theatre and vast museums, it's a great place
to discover the culture and history of the
area. A great example of Romania's history
comes in the form of the Alba lulia's citadel,
with its Roman remains still visible.
Viewed from the air, the citadel resembles
a seven-pointed star and is one of the most
historically important cities because it is
where Transylvania unified with Romania.
Bucharest, in the Wallachia region,
is dominated by Ceausescu's Palace of
Parliament (one of the biggest buildings in
the world). It has the buzz of Paris, but still
retains pockets of
the ancient city
well known for its
castles, particularly the
beautiful Peles Castle – a
royal palace with its amazing
woodwork and carvings. Bran Castle
(traditionally known as Dracula's Castle)
was our next stop, followed by the Prejmer
Fortified Church, built of wood and utterly
untouched since the 1300s. Tiny rooms
where families sheltered in troubled times
have been left just as they would have been.
It's really quite moving.
A visit to the Salina Turda salt mine is a
must. Walk amongst its 300-foot cavern
and you'll come to the lake at the bottom,
where people boat in the semi darkness and
play snooker and bowls on the upper level!
Apparently the atmosphere here is good for
respiratory problems so people visit to 'take
the air', despite it being underground.
The hotels in the cities are all very
comfortable and modern but are
a little more rustic in the villages,
which I think adds to their charm. The
food is very meat based – sausages are very
popular – with pickled vegetables, lots of
lovely salads and amazing cakes and breads.
It is a really great place to send clients who
are always looking for something different.
It's unspoiled, with a long, interesting history
and a touch of spookiness on the side!
Romania is reached in two hours on a
direct service from Heathrow with
Clockwise from top left: The Shoemaker's Tower Bran Castle or Dracula's
Castle; Vlad the Impaler's birthplace in Sighisoara; Voronet, one of
Romania's painted Monasteries; the Cox & Kings fam group
16 AUG – 30 SEP 2019
kids at selected
14 April - 31
CONTACT YOUR PREFERRED
TOUR OPERATOR FOR MORE
INFORMATION AND TO BOOK.
Costa Rica | Curaçao | Dominican Republic: Cap Cana • La Romana • Puerto Plata • Punta Cana | Jamaica: Montego Bay
Mexico: Akumal • Cancun • Cozumel • Huatulco • Isla Mujeres • Ixtapa • Los Cabos • Nuevo Vallarta • Playa Mujeres
Puerto Aventuras • Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Cancun • Riviera Maya • Tulum | Panama
*Terms & Conditions Apply. *Limited availability
Selling Travel listens
This month #agentstalk about...
Get social with us: SellingTravel SellingTravelmag @sellingtravmag
Travel Agent rants & raves
This month Jenny Jackson asked: "With the very sad news of the collapse of
Super Break is there a gap in the market when it comes to UK breaks?"
Founder of Luxury
“I can't imagine UK travel
without Super Break. I really
hope an investor sees what
a good brand it is for the UK
“It's always been a solid choice
for UK hotel breaks since I
started in retail nearly 30
"It would be great if Super
Break is saved but it needs
to solely concentrate on UK
short breaks. Forget European
packages and go back to the
"It was a company that always
dealt with any issues, on the
rare occasion there were any,
and was so agent friendly."
"Years ago there were so many
to choose from: Highliffe,
Rainbow, London Travel
Service and Golden Rail. I
think most have merged into
"We have a UK hotel booked
for a clients' golden wedding
anniversary and it isn't
covered by ABTA, but we have
already paid Super Break. We
now have to pay for the hotel
so the clients don’t lose out -
and it was an expensive hotel!"
"We had to turn a customer
away recently. They wanted a
rail break with Super Break and
we hadn't any alternatives to
"It shows the huge problem in
travel: when companies are
profitable but the parent
company is not."
"Well that’s a
new one... A guy
asking if he can take
his two pet hamsters
on a cruise with him!"
“I had someone
who wanted to
purchase a seat
"Client said: 'the flight time
doesn't work for me. Could
you ask the airline to go a few
hours later or delay the
flight for us?' Er, sure..."
"'Can I pay £200 now
and the rest when i
get back?' No"
10nts - Golden Triangle & Goa, India
0208 585 4020
DELHI AGRA JAIPUR GOA
Package includes flights, accommodation, sightseeing, English speaking guide & transfers.
Travel : 1 Oct 19 - 9 Dec 19 / 16 Jan 20 - 31 Mar 20
Untitled-10 1 13/08/2019 15:57
IN THE OFFICE
with Matt Pattinson - TUI
The Next chapter for new TUI store
TUI has just opened a new store in
Sheffield, the first to be located within
a Next retail store. Manager Matt
Pattinson tells Selling Travel how a prime
location in The Moor shopping centre is
attracting a new kind of customer.
"Sheffield City Centre and the whole
catchment area of Sheffield is really
important to TUI. The area supports a
number of our regional flying bases,
including Doncaster Sheffield, Manchester
and East Midlands airports. Over half a
million people are in the catchment area
of Sheffield and therefore it is important
that we are well represented in the area.
"The redevelopment of The Moor (shopping
centre) has driven the majority of shoppers
in Sheffield to that area of the city - it has
attracted millions of visitors in the last year
alone - and it was a great opportunity to be
involved in such a prestigious development.
It’s also great that this is first
TUI store within Next,
something new and
exciting for us."
'We know from
speaking to our
customers that many
of them still prefer
and having that peace of
mind that comes from going into a store
and discussing their holiday. Over the years
we have adapted our service proposition
Our customers still
to suit the changing requirements of our
customers, always ensuring that we put
them at the heart of everything we do. We
share our knowledge and expertise as well as
being there with them for every step of their
journey, as and when they need us.
"Through all the developments in recent
years we have been able to enhance
our customers’ experiences
resulting in brand loyalty and
"Our culture of honesty
and transparency, looking
after customers and being
empowered to help solve
any issues on the spot, should
any arise, really does help our
customers ‘discover their smiles’. I
also believe our commitment to opening
new and exciting stores like the one in
Sheffield makes us different to many other
"This year I am seeing customers looking for
more regular, shorter breaks to allow them
to escape more often.
"There is a late booking market and midhaul
destinations seem popular this year.
"I have also helped many customers book
somewhere new for the first time. Customers
are increasingly wanting something that they
haven't experienced before.
"My proudest moment as a travel agent
has to be winning TUI store of the year
when I was a Team Manager at our Sheffield
Meadowhall store. I also won Regional
Deputy Manager of the Year a few years ago,
which to me it is a testament to my hard
work and dedication. I am very proud to be
a travel agent for TUI and look forward to
seeing this new store in Sheffield thrive."
13nts , Kenya Sarova Safari & Mauritius
0208 585 4020
LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK MAASAI MARA MAURITIUS
Package includes flights, accommodation, sightseeing, game drives, English speaking guide & transfers.
Travel : 19 Aug 19 - 10 Dec 19
Untitled-10 1 13/08/2019 15:58
on the move
Agents Relationship Manager,
Experience Travel Group
Why appoint an Agents
ETG has experienced 20%
growth in agent bookings in
the past year. The new role
allows us to give agents a
focal point for their queries,
send dedicated marketing
collateral and resources,
and offer support.
What’s your focus?
To get to know our agents
personally, understand how
they run their business and
make sure we are giving
them what they need.
Why book with ETG?
To provide something
different for clients and the
and emphasis we put on
our agent relationships.
TO: Senior Product & Commercial
Manager, Leisure, EFR Travel Group
Iain will be overseeing all
product and contracting
for the brands within the
Leisure Division. These
include the Luxury
Collection Cruise, and
Elegant Golf Resorts'
TO: Head of Sales and Training,
Not Just Travel
David helps franchisees
build successful travel
businesses. He specialises
in discovering the right
people, delivering effective
and then working on
He is also the co-founder
of Equator Learning.
TO: Regional Sales Manager,
Pauline will keep agents in
Scotland and Northern
Ireland up to date with
campaigns, incentives, and
initiatives as well as
arranging ship visits. She
will also be promoting
programme ‘Passport’' on
What’s your travel tip?
Travel curious and enjoy
TO: Regional Sales Director, Rocky
TO: Business Development Manager,
TO: Supplier Partnership Manager,
Steve joined Rocky
Mountaineer in 2018 as
Manager and has quickly
progressed to Regional
Sales Director. He will
work closely with the sales
team and trade partners
to ensure that business
Natasha Jones joins Saga's
trade team of 10 and will
support developing agent
partners in growing their
Saga business. The move
brings her back to the
trade team after two years
away, which was spent
travelling followed by a
spell with STA Travel.
With over 25 years’
experience in the travel
industry, Richard’s focus
will be to provide a range
of marketing and support
options for JTA’s supply
partners. He will also
reach out directly to JTA’s
Have you just got a new job and want agents to know
about it? We'd love to hear about it.
Develop your USA experience
REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND • VISITUSAROADSHOW.COM
Win one of
trips to the
NEW YORK, BOSTON
OR LAS VEGAS
• United Airlines
to NEW YORK
• 7 nights Cruise
America RV Rental
• Stay at the Moxy
NYC Times Sqaure
• Virgin Atlantic
to LAS VEGAS
• Stay at the Planet
Vegas Resort &
• Delta Air Lines
• Stay at the Moxy
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
Tuesday October 1
RADISSON BLU GLASGOW
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
Thursday October 3
CANARY RIVERSIDE PLAZA HOTEL
AMTRAK VACATIONS • BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, CONNECTICUT • BRAND USA UK & IRELAND • BROADWAY INBOUND •
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT • COLORADO TOURISM OFFICE • CRUISE AMERICA RV RENTALS • EXPERIENCE KISSIMMEE • EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE •
FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST • GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU • HANDLERY HOTELS • KENNEDY SPACE CENTRE VISITOR COMPLEX •
MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF TRAVEL & TOURISM • MAVERICK AVIATION GROUP, GRAND CANYON & LAS VEGAS • NEW ORLEANS & COMPANY AND
LOUISIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM • NEW SYMRNA BEACH AREA VISITORS BUREAU • PAPILLON GRAND CANYON HELICOPTERS •
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
Attend one of the Roadshows by visiting
GDS | TRAINING | REWARDS
Training, competitions, events
THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES September 2019
Say yes to Yas Island
Are you an
1. TUI operate a
flight to Aruba
TRUE / FALSE
AGENTS that complete the
Yas Island Expert training
programme by September 15, 2019
will be in the frame to win a fourday
trip for two to the Abu Dhabi
isle. The programme is the latest
addition to the Travel Uni platform
and includes five modules on
subjects such as Yas Island's three
theme parks – Warner Bros. World
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
and Yas Waterworld – to the
Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and its
Train to win a
trip to Oman
be performed in
TRUE / FALSE
Oman Ambassadors I Modules: 5
To celebrate the launch of the Oman Travel Uni
training programme, the Oman Ministry of Tourism is
offering the chance to win a four-night stay for two
at the Shangri-La Al Bandar resort.
Guests will enjoy all the amenities of this luxury
resort on a half-board basis and visit some of
Oman's top attractions, such as its sweeping
deserts and secluded fjords.
For the chance to win agents must sign up and
complete the training by September 30, 2019.
A second prize – afternoon tea for two at the
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard in London – is up for
grabs for the runner-up.
Find the answer at:
Food for thought
This October, diners at the
London Restaurant Festival
could win a gastronomic trip to
Jerusalem in conjunction with
Jerusalem Open Restaurant and
Virgin Atlantic. The prize includes
two return flights to Jerusalem, a
three-night stay at the Inbal Hotel,
tickets to Jerusalem Open
Restaurant events and a tour of
Mahane Yehuda Market.
BECOME A THAILAND EXPERT
WIN A HOLIDAY TO THAILAND
Terms and conditions apply
Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!
Working in partnership
Sell the Cirque
AGENTS could be jetting off
to Las Vegas to enjoy two
Cirque du Soleil shows as part of
Do Something Different's latest
The prize includes return flights
from Heathrow or Manchester with
Virgin Atlantic, three nights on the
Strip at the new Park MGM and
tickets to two Cirque du Soleil
shows of your choice.
To pocket this prize agents must
make a booking for any Cirque du
Soleil Las Vegas show before
September 30, 2019 and email
with their DSD order number and
'CIRQUE' in the subject line by
October 4, 2019. More bookings
mean a better chance of winning.
Time for Thailand
Thai Airways has released a
range of travel trade fares to
encourage agents to visit Thailand.
Priced from £441, the discounted
flights are on sale now for travel up
to November 30, 2019, and must be
booked no more than one month
before travel. Agents can fly to
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and
Phuket, as well as to other
destinations across Southeast Asia.
Qatar specialist I Modules: 5
If Only and Visit Qatar are
promoting Doha as the ideal
stopover destination by giving
one agent the chance to win
a city break to Qatar’s capital.
The incentive is part of
the Connect With Qatar
campaign, which includes
special offers to twin Qatar with
destinations across Asia and the Indian Ocean.
To be in with a chance of winning the trip, which includes
return flights and accommodation for two, agents need to
make a booking including a stopover in Doha before November
2019. Every booking to Qatar for two nights or more during the
campaign qualifies for £50 on a My Loyalty Card.
A-Z of available
Centara Hotels &
Cirque de Soleile
Fort Myers & Sanibel
Melia Hotels &
New York state
Untitled-5 1 12/08/2019 10:17
Aphrodite’s isle isn’t all sun, sand and sea. Kathryn Liston explores the island’s
natural and cultural attractions through its impressive range of driving routes
Hold on tight! I’m bouncing around
in the back of a jeep. No, it’s not the
poor state of the roads – the road
system around the entire island is
excellent. I’m on a jeep safari of the
protected Akamas nature reserve, a
vast wilderness of steep-sided cliffs,
deep limestone gorges and shimmering
sandy bays to the north of Paphos.
I keep my eyes peeled for eagles,
falcons, green and loggerhead turtles and
400 species of wild flowers, many endemic
to the island.
Agile wild goats keep me company in the
Avagas Gorge, springing up the steepsided
limestone walls to a cacophony of
cicadas and bird song. We look down on
beautiful Lara Bay, but its infamous turtles
which return to lay their eggs each year
are not at home.
After a typical lunch meze of dips, squid
and barbecued meats, we enjoy a swim
in the clear waters of the remote Fontana
Amorosa, but Aphrodite, and the lovers
she seduced here, are not at home either.
Charmed by the region’s raw natural
beauty, the next day I hire a small motorboat
in Latchi and pootle along the
coastline to the Blue Lagoon where the
bright azure hues assault my senses.
With so many amazing places to explore
on the island, the following day I hire a car
and take to the open road.
THEMED DRIVING ROUTES
The Aphrodite Cultural Route is one of
several self-drive themed routes. It visits
historic sites, museums and artefacts
associated with the goddess of love, such
as Kouklia, Amathus and Kition, providing
visitors with an insight into her mythology,
rituals and character.
The Antiquity Cultural Route takes in the
UNESCO neolithic settlement, Choirokoitia,
near Limassol; the grand Greco-Roman
Kourion amphitheatre (second century BC);
and the Archeological Park’s Roman villas
and stunning mosaic floors in Paphos.
Other cultural routes focus on Venetians
OIKOS, TROODOS MOUNTAINS
CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION
CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION
THE BLUE LAGOON
in Cyprus, the history of copper and
eastern and western culture.
Boutique wineries, vineyards and
museums, including the Wine Museum in
Erimi, are featured on seven signposted
wine routes. Cyprus is one of the world’s
oldest wine-producing countries, and
the desert wine, Commandaria, that it
produces has been around a long time too.
To encourage holidaymakers to enjoy
a taste of authentic Cyprus, the Travel
Foundation and Cyprus Sustainable
Tourism Initiative have developed six
self-drive village routes which showcase
Extending from Farmagusta in the east
to Akamas in the west, the tours visit local
businesses, such as the Oleastro Olive Park
and Museum, the rose-producing village of
Argos, the lace-making village of Lefkara,
the red earth villages of Kokkinochoria and
windmills of Farmagusta.
A booklet outlining village festivals,
events and places to buy local crafts is
A magnificent Greco-
built in the 2nd century
BC is the centrepiece of
this ancient city-kingdom,
which also haa villas with
5th century mosaic floors
and a bathing complex.
Tombs of Kings
This vast complex of
chambers is carved out
of solid rock, some with
ornate Doric pillars.
It dates back to the
Hellenistic and Roman
Surrounded by 16th
fortifications, visitors will
find ancient churches,
medieval buildings and a
maze of narrow streets.
quaint old town of Laiki
By a salt lake awash with
flamingos, this mosque
was built over the tomb
of Umm Haram, believed
to be the sister of the
A paradise for walkers,
bird watchers and cyclists
and cool respite for
day-trippers who flock to
the town, Platres. Check
out the 3km Kalidonia
BOOK IT WITH… OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS
A seven-night holiday at the adults-only
Amarande Hotel, which opens in June 2020,
starts from £657pp based on two people
sharing a deluxe room on a half-board basis
and travelling on June 2 2020 from Gatwick.
The four-star hotel is 300 metres from
Maistrali beach and a short walking distance
from Ayia Napa’s buzzing centre.
olympicholidays.com; 0208 492 6868
MEDITATING ON THE MED
available from csti-cyprus.org.
Visitors staying in Larnaca next winter
(November to April) can enjoy a host of
traditional village crafts such as basket
weaving and halloumi-cheese making
plus free guided tours.
With 52 designated trails there’s one
for every week of the year. They vary
in length and difficulty and traverse a
variety of beautiful landscapes and flora,
taking walkers past Byzantine churches
and historic monuments.
Cyclists are spoilt for choice too, with
routes offering everything from forest
mountain bike trails to coastal rides.
The island’s warm climate and water
temperatures (16-27C) make it ideal for
golfers, who can play in shirt-sleeves
year-round on four 18-hole courses - the
PGA Aphrodite Hills, Sir Nick Faldodesigned
Eléa Estate Golf Club, Minthis
Hills and Secret Valley.
Water-sports, including kite-surfing,
are available in the resorts of Paphos,
Limassol, Larnaka, Ayia Napa/Protaras.
Divers will find underwater caves, vibrant
marine life and wrecks, including the
Elpida off the coast of Larnaka.
Shearings’ winter-sun Cyprus Delights
break at the Hotel Aloe in Paphos comes
with two new tours: Authentic Cyprus,
which includes breakfast cooked by a
local villager and a wine tasting at a local
winery, and Cyprus History and Scenery
which visits key historic sites.
Two hotels opened last May - the
five-star couples-only Amavi, in Paphos,
marketed under the Made-for-Two
brand, and the four-star Louis Ivi Mare,
Kato Paphos. The four-star adults-only
Amarande Hotel will open in Ayia Napa in
Columbia Beach Resort is inviting
agents to join its UK sales team for a
30-minute Lunch & Learn session, which
will include tips on targeting specific
market sectors and an update on offers
and incentives. Agents register their
interest by emailing Nicola Pickup at
suggested dates and timings.
Jet2 has increased winter capacity to
200,000 seats – a rise of 45% on 2018.
AYIA NAPA BEACH
south florida 41
Family fun, eco-adventures and luxury escapes are all possible
among the white-sand beaches, verdant parks and warm,
turquoise seas of South Florida, says Lauren Jarvis
“There are no one-way car
rental penalty charges
within Florida, offering
quite a saving compared
to other areas of the USA.”
Malcom Davies, Product Destination Manager,
My head still virtually spinning
from the rollercoasters of
Orlando, I’ve headed south in
search of some exhilarating experiences
of a different kind.
In chic Sarasota and Naples, I wander
boutiques and galleries, eat fabulous
food and sink wonderful wine. On Sanibel
island, I scour sunset beaches for shells,
as pink-hued spoonbills stalk the shallows
for fish. In the Everglades, I tramp through
steamy swamps, searching for alligators
and rare orchids, as bromeliads and
Spanish moss drip from the trees. Kayaking
the mangroves of Big Pine Key, I spend
the day in shorts with salty skin
and shaggy hair, as rays
and nurse sharks cruise the seagrass beds
below. And driving the Overseas Highway
on Route 1 to Key West, I find freedom,
adventure and an unexpected feeling of
There are urban delights too, In Miami
I sip cocktails at Delano’s and dance after
dark under the stars.
From the unspoilt white-sand barrier
islands of the Gulf coast, to the primordial,
green wilderness of the Everglades National
Park; the sparkling, golden lights of its
cosmopolitan cities, to the blue sea swirls
of the sun-drenched Florida Keys, South
Florida showed me shades of the state I’d
Lay of the land
There’s plenty for a standalone South
Florida stay. Miami is a long-standing
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas national Park
international gateway, but flight
connections from major U.S. cities to
Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Sarasota–
Bradenton, Key West and Southwest
Florida International in Fort Myers – which
will see a $175 million expansion project
completed by 2023 – make for a perfect
Families should also consider combining
a week at Orlando’s many amusement
parks (Universal, Disney and Legoland are
all here) with another exploring the South’s
exciting cities and natural wonders.
“South Florida has so much to offer and
discover,” says Gill Standeven, Visit Florida’s
UK Account Director. “We’re working
with tour operators on co-op marketing
programmes to promote multi-centre trips,
encouraging visitors to travel further.”
The glitzy centres of Miami, Fort
Lauderdale, Boca Ratan and West
Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast, and
cosmopolitan Sarasota and Naples on
the Gulf of Mexico, boast luxury hotels,
restaurants and boutiques, but offer fun
for families, too. The safe, sandy beaches
of Gulf islands like Anna Maria and Sanibel
are perfect for children, while spa resorts
and golf courses across the region keep
luxury-seeking travellers entertained.
For the intrepid, the Everglades National
Park has exciting swamp and kayaking
tours; Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral
Reef State Park and Dry Tortugas National
Park off Key West offer excellent diving and
snorkelling; Palm Beach is a surf hotspot,
and Fort Myers a watersports mecca.
New for families
Curio Collection by Hilton property, Baker’s
Cay Resort in Key Largo (curiocollection3.
hilton.com), offers family-friendly activities,
including marine science camps, and Eden
Roc Miami Beach (edenrochotelmiami.
com) has introduced an all-new BECO Kids
Club, offering fun marine workshops, pizza
making classes, kid’s yoga, mindfulness
sessions and more.
On Anna Maria Island, Anna Maia Beach
has opened, with a large pool and all rooms
offering kitchen facilities.
A new Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
resort (margaritaville.com) will open in
2021 at Fort Myers Beach, with 254 rooms
and a water park.
Key West’s newest attraction, the Sails
to Rails Museum (historictours.com), leads
visitors on an interactive journey through
500 years of fascinating Key West history.
Meanwhile, four new, daily trolley tours of
Bahia Honda State Park (floridastateparks.
org/BahiaHonda) in the Lower Keys will
help nature loving visitors understand the
region’s unique ecosystem and history.
watersports are big down south
Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences
Book it: USAirtours (usairtours.co.uk/agent-zone)
offers seven nights room-only in the Florida Keys
for a family of four from £1,245pp, including flights
with Norwegian from London to Miami, car rental,
and accommodation in Key Largo and Key West.
New for luxury seekers
Luxury boutique property, Lennox Hotel
Miami Beach (lennoxmiamibeach.com),
opened in the city’s historic district in
August this year, with 119 rooms and its
own private beach.
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south florida 43
Nobu Hotel Miami Beach
introduced three new types of Penthouse
Level Beach Villas, with a personal
concierge, gym, pool and cabanas.
The Palm Beaches has five new, high-end
hotels openings: Amrit Ocean Resort &
Residences on Singer Island and Canopy by
Hilton Hotel in West Palm Beach in 2019;
The Ben, Autograph Collection by Marriott
and Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, A Noble
House Resort, in West Palm Beach in 2020;
and Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton in 2021.
Several multi-million-dollar renovations
will be completed on The Paradise Coast
this year, including JW Marriott Marco
Island Beach Resort, Hilton Marco Island
Beach Resort and Spa, the Ritz-Carlton
Naples; and Naples Grande Beach Resort.
Sarasota has two new, luxury resorts:
Art Ovation Hotel Autograph Collection
(marriott.com) and boutique property, The
Sarasota Modern (thesarasotamodern.
The new Seminole Hard Rock
Hollywood Hotel and Casino
(seminolehardrockhollywood.com) opens in
Greater Fort Lauderdale in October 2019,
with 1,200 rooms and a 7,000-seat Hard
Rock Live entertainment venue.
Marriott opens a new Autograph
Collection property in 2020, with the
Luminary Hotel & Co. overlooking the Fort
Myers River District.
Book it: Funway Holidays (vaxvacationaccess.
co.uk) offers 10 days from £1,799pp, including
flights from London to Miami, car rental and
five-star accommodation for three nights in Miami
Beach, three nights in Key West and three nights
New for adventure lovers
The adults-only Bunagalows Key Largo
(bungalowskeylargo.com) – the Florida
Keys’ first all-inclusive resort – reopens in
December 2019, offering paddle boarding,
kayaking and snorkelling.
Marathon’s 199-unit Isla Bella Beach
Resort, adjacent to the iconic Seven Mile
Bridge, now has five pools, complimentary
bicycles and on-site water sports.
Water lovers can participate in a
Sip and SUP eco-tour experience
(aquaholicadventures.com) at Islamorada’s
Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina,
kayaking or paddle boarding to local bars.
Otherside Adventure Park
(othersideboardsports.com) and Keys Cable
(keyscable.com) in Marathon run wake
boarding, kite boarding, stand-up paddle
boarding and foil boarding lessons.
Key West HydroBikes (keywesthydrobikes.
com) offer rentals from four Key West
locations, tours to Castaway Island and
Mallory Glow tours to watch the sunset in
front of Mallory Square.
The Circus Arts Conservatory (circusarts.
org) in Sarasota – home of the famous
Ringling Circus Museum – runs circus arts
classes and workshops for all ages
Book it: America As You Like It (americaasyoulikeit.
com) has a seven-night room-only holiday from
£1,315pp, including flights with Norwegian from
London to Miami, car rental, three nights in Naples
(for travel to the Everglades) and four nights at
Fort Myers Beach (with watersports included).
The Sarasota Modern
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how to sell
It’s gone from being a pariah state to one of Asia’s most desirable destinations.
Kathryn Liston explains how agents can sell Myanmar
Why sell it now
Exiled from the outside world for
many years, unspoilt by mass tourism
and untouched by commercialisation,
Myanmar provides a glimpse of Asia in
bygone days – but things are changing fast.
A more stable political climate since
elections in 2015 have brought investment
in tourism that has resulted in new luxury
hotels, excellent domestic transport
links, a simpler online visa service, and
more family-owned businesses, social
enterprises and community projects.
Myanmar is more affordable than it has
ever been – a five-star hotel costs half the
price it was five years ago, says InsideAsia
Tours' PR Manager James Mundy.
Prices on the ground are also extremely
low – Yangon taxis are £1; stir-fry, tea leaf
salad or mohinga noodles £3 – although
Western-style cafes, which are popping up
rapidly, will charge more.
The people are warm and welcoming
and there’s a plethora of amazing, and
relatively quiet, temples, monasteries and
cultural sites to explore. Bagan receives
300,000 visitors a year compared to
Angkor Wat’s three million.
Who to sell to
With such a treasure trove of highlights,
Myanmar caters for all markets. Culture
buffs will love the stunning temples and
colonial and World War Two history of
Mandalay and Yangon; cruisers can dip
COCKBURN ISLAND, ANDAMAN SEA
BAGAN HAS BEEN AWARDED UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE STATUS THIS YEAR
into village life along the Irrawaddy or
Chindwin rivers; sun worshippers will
adore the unspoilt beaches of Ngapali or
quieter Ngwe Saung; hikers can trek the
Kalaw and Shan hills; and soft adventure
seekers can take a sunrise balloon ride
over Bagan, boat trip around Inle Lake or
cycling tours of Yangon and Mandalay.
What to sell
The tourist trail of Yangon, Mandalay,
Bagan, Kalaw and Lake Inle visits the
main cultural sites and is a must for firsttime
visitors. The gleaming Shwedagon
Pagoda is Yangon’s jewel in the crown.
Mandalay’s U Bein teak bridge (built 1782);
Mahagandayon Monastery, home to 1,000
monks; and the gold-leaf covered Buddha
at Mahamuni Pagoda are stunning.
A balloon ride at sunrise over Bagan’s
3,500 ancient stupas and temples – and
a horse-and-cart ride around the dusty
plains – are enchanting, as is a boat tour of
Inle Lake, where fishermen row with one
leg, artisans weave silks from lotus leaves,
silversmiths create ornate jewellery and
floating gardens are filled with vegetables.
The hill station Kalaw offers great walking
and the Kalaw Green Valley elephant camp
employs sustainable practices, like making
paper from elephant poo.
Further afield, there’s the Golden Rock
pagoda and pilgrimage site at Kyaiktiyo,
Mawlamyine, where Rudyard Kipling and
George Orwell penned various works, and
the remote Mergui Archipelago, where
Regent Holidays offers an 18-day cruise.
How to sell it
Recommend a guided tour from Yangon
to Mandalay followed by a beach stay or a
cruise. Internal flights between the main
cities are frequent, so clients can arrive
BOOK IT WITH... PREMIER HOLIDAYS
Priced at £1999pp, the seven-night Highlights Of
Myanmar tour includes three days in Mandalay,
two days in Bagan to take in Mount Popa, a
private sunset cruise along the Irrawaddy and
two days at Inle Lake to visit the enchanting
premierholidays.co.uk; 08444 937 520
how to sell 45
“Myanmar is more
affordable than it's ever
been - a five-star hotel costs
half the price it was five
U BEIN BRIDGE
James Mundy, PR Manager, Inside Tours
early morning for the next leg of their
tour. Older clients may prefer to take a
more leisurely cruise on the Irrawaddy or
Chindwin River (from July to September).
Agents should keep an eye on FCO travel
advice too, as certain areas of the country
are still out of bounds.
When to sell
The best time to visit is November to
February when the weather is warm and
dry. April and May are hot and humid;
while the monsoon season from June
to October is best avoided. Water levels
for cruising are highest from October to
January, making winter a good time.
Rosewood Hotels (rosewoodhotels.com)
opens a new property this summer in the
former New Law Courts for British Burma,
Yangon. Last December saw the opening
of luxury island resort Wa Ale (waaleresort.
com) at Lampi Marine National Park, with
11 tent beach villas and two treetop villas.
The community initiative in the far south of
Myanmar was set up by Lampi Foundation
owners Chris & Farina Kingsley.
Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min
(sofitelaccorhotels.com), Accor’s first hotel
in Myanmar, opened last year.
The city of Bagan, with 3,000 Buddist
temples, monateries and stupas, gained
UNESCO World Heritage status in July.
The Secretariat (thesecretariat.com),
the magnificent colonial centre of British
Burma, where general Aung San and six
cabinet minster's were assassinated in
1947, will open to visitors in October.
Yangon-based Sampan Travel
(sampantravel.com) has introduced a
Coffee & Tea Trail in the Pindaya Hills, and
World War Two battlefield tours.
A plastic reduction initiative from
InsideAsia Tours (insideasiatours.com)
provides clients with a refillable water
bottle, bamboo straw and handwoven bag
Visit USA News
THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES FROM VISIT USA MEMBERS • VISITUSA.ORG.UK
qualify for up to
50% off theme
up to 35% off
2019 to qualify
for other special
at four Orlando
Virgin unveils new A350
Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 aircraft is expected to start flying across the
Atlantic on September 10, with the inaugural flight from Heathrow to
New York JKF.
The aircraft features an entirely redesigned Upper Class cabin, as
well as the airline’s unique social space, The Loft (pictured). Those in
the Premium and Economy cabins will benefit from added luxury and
comfort, including the airline’s largest-ever entertainment screens.
Four A350s – Mamma Mia, Red Velvet, Rain Bow and Queen of Hearts
– will join the airline’s fleet by the end of 2019, all flying between
Heathrow and JFK.
A further eight A350s will be introduced across 2020-2021 with the
full schedule and destination information to be revealed in due course.
The final five planes will offer a leisure configuration and will operate
routes to Florida and the Caribbean from Gatwick and Manchester.
If Only is featuring
Cleveland, Ohio, in its North
American programme for the first
time. The city provides the final stop
on the operator’s 14-night self-drive
tour around the Great Lakes region.
The overnight in Cleveland takes in a
visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A quintessential California
wine-tasting experience will
be on offer at the California Wine
Festival in Huntington Beach –
nicknamed 'Surf City' – from October
25 to 26. Held at the Pasea Hotel and
Spa, it will display hundreds of
premium California wines, regional
craft brews and a variety of artisanal
foods such as cheeses, breads, olive
oils, shellfish, salads and chocolates.
will celebrate the 400th anniversary of
the Mayflower voyage next year with a
ceremony on April 24, an Official
Maritime Salute on June 27, a
Wampanoag Ancestors Walk on August
1 and an indigenous History
Conference/Powwow on October 29.
BLOG It's that time of year when thirsty
minds turn to beer or, more specifically
beer festivals, and the USA has plenty of
these – from Fredericksburg's Oktoberfest
in Texas to Props & Hops in Greater Palm
Springs, California, in November. What
better way to get to a taste of a destination
than with a local craft brew in hand?
More Blog content at visitusa.org.uk/Blog
Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update for the pick of members' news
SALES MANAGER, UK
DOLLY PARTON'S TENNESSEE FAMILY
ATTRACTION, DOLLYWOOD THEME PARK IN
PIGEON FORGE, HAS A UNVEILED A MAJOR
EXPANSION, ‘WILDWOOD GROOVE’, WITH
NEW RIDES SUCH AS TREETOPTOWER
Check out these
Visit USA UK
• Kennedy Space
• PIER 39 San
• SeaWorld Parks
Parks & Resorts
Epic news from Universal
Universal Orlando Resort is to build a fourth park which it claims will
“forever change the theme park entertainment experience”.
The company says Universal’s Epic Universe, which will nearly double
the space it owns in Central Florida, will be "the most immersive and
innovative theme park we have ever built".
Located on a 750-acre site a few miles from the existing resort in
Southwest Orange County, east of Universal Boulevard, It will also feature
an entertainment centre, hotels, shops and restaurants.
“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” said Tom Williams, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts.
News of the new park was announced in early August at an event
attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, although there were no
details on the planned rides or other attractions.
When did Hawaiian Airlines
join Visit USA and why?
We joined for 2019/20. We
are looking to increase our
awareness of our brand,
product and services to
both consumers and travel
trade partners. We think
Visit USA provides the ideal
platform to do this.
How well do you think the
trade know the airline?
Hawaiian Airlines has been
in service for over 90 years
therefore there is good
awareness of our product.
However, as we are
constantly developing new
routes, updating our fleet
and enhancing our services
we are keen to ensure that
our vital trade partners are
kept fully up to date.
Do you have any events
planned for agents in 2019?
We will participate in
various trade events and
throughout the year.
Sum up Hawaii's appeal
With gorgeous scenery,
aloha spirit, stunning
beaches, and exciting
activities, Hawaii can be
enjoyed all year round with
between 23°C to 27°C.
Do you have a favourite
Hawaiian Airlines memory?
On my first-ever flight I
'experienced Hawaii' as
soon as I stepped onboard:
the cabin crew were
wearing fresh plumeria
flowers in their hair.
Subscribe to the Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update at visitusa.org.uk
my trip to...
It’s a long way to the South Pacific so you could argue it’s worth
seeing more than one island. Jane Archer shows how you can visit
several on a cruise.
We’ve stopped beside a pile of
stones that to an untrained
eye (mine) looks like, well, a
pile of stones. To anthropologist Mark
Eddowes, a walking encyclopaedia on
everything Polynesian who happens
to be guiding my tour, they offer an
insight into the lives of the people who
lived here hundreds of years ago.
‘Here’ is the South Pacific island of
Moorea, the last stop on a one-week
cruise around the Society Islands with Paul
Gauguin Cruises. We started in Papeete,
in Tahiti, and have already visited Raiatea,
Tah’a and Bora Bora. There’s an overnight
in Moorea to come and then, all too soon,
we’ll head back to Papeete.
The islands are as close to paradise as
anywhere I’ve ever been (certainly worth
the near 24-hour journey getting here) – all
small, ringed by beautiful beaches and
with lush green rainforest interiors. They
are each enclosed by strings of coral reefs,
which keeps the waters calm and attracts
an array of marine life; on the reefs
themselves are beautiful white motus, the
local name for coral islands, which glint in
the bright sunshine.
Paul Gauguin’s ship, also called Paul
Gauguin, has proved the perfect base
from which to explore this region.
Purpose-built to cruise the South Pacific,
it accommodates just 332 passengers and
has a shallow draft so it can get inside the
reefs. There’s plenty of outside deck for
lazing in the sun and a laid-back, casual
atmosphere that suits the destination.
After all, who wants to come to the South
Pacific and have to dress up in tuxedos or
DJs. The icing on the cake, is that prices
include all dining, drinks and gratuities so
you don’t have to think about the budget.
I was there with my daughter on what
turned out to be the perfect bonding
trip. While I was loving the sea, sand and
temperatures in the high 80s (despite it
being August, which is their winter), my
daughter was coming back from scuba
and snorkelling tours with the ship’s dive
masters, telling tales of turtles, sea urchins,
eagle rays, sharks (I was assured they were
harmless!) and more. On one notable
trip she encountered a Crown of Thorns
starfish, a carnivorous echinoderm capable
of wiping out entire reef colonies.
My daughter is a scuba dive instructor
but you don’t have to be qualified to dive
from the ship as there are scuba trips for
beginners and certified divers (these are
at extra cost). Uniquely, there are three
dive masters on board, plus a couple of
assistants, and between them they also
look after the marina, housed in the stern
of the ship, which contains water toys like
snorkelling equipment, kayaks, canoes and
a windsurf, all of which are free to use.
We also had plenty of together time.
I got roped into a drift snorkelling trip,
which sounded alarming (“for confident
swimmers only, no touching the coral”)
but was brilliant. We were guided through
fields of colourful coral teeming with evenmore
vibrant tropical fish, pulled along by
the strong current that runs between the
motus – a bit like being in a funnel - when
the tide is coming in or receding.
We drank cocktails from coconut shells
during a Robinson Crusoe day on Motu
Mahana, Paul Gauguin’s private coral
my trip to... 49
STINGRAY ENCOUNTER, MOOREA
CREDIT LINE HERE PLEASE IF ANY
island, hiked up Mount Tapioi on Raiatea
and joined the long list of celebrities who
have frequented the famous Bloody Mary’s
Restaurant on Bora Bora, an hour’s walk
from the pier.
And then there was that Trails of the
Ancients tour with Mark Eddowes, a
regular guest speaker on Paul Gauguin’s
Society Islands’ cruises.
We saw the remains of an ancient marae
(the Polynesian’s sacred meeting ground)
and learned of their religious beliefs and
how life in the islands changed when the
French arrived in the 1700s. The excursion
was supposed to be four hours but was
so fascinating that when it overran no one
noticed or cared.
We even went along to Mark’s lectures
back on Paul Gauguin - one about ancient
Polynesian society, another billed the
‘true’ story of the mutiny on the Bounty.
Unfortunately I missed the ending because
we had to leave half way through as we
had booked dinner in the Grill, one of two
speciality restaurants on the ship. The
other is the Veranda, which doubles as the
self-service for breakfast and lunch) that
book up fast.
We dined in each, but most evenings
went to L’Etoile, the main dining room,
where you can eat when and with whom
you want. During meal times, two of Les
Gauguines, a group of seven local women
who provided the entertainment on the
ship, passed through the restaurant, one
playing the guitar, the other dancing.
They also performed song-and-dance
shows in the theatre in the evenings,
and by day hosted games of volley ball,
petanque and hermit crab racing, as well
as telling us about life ON the islands and
teaching us how to make shell bracelets.
It sounded a lot easier than it was but
practice makes perfect so as I see it, I just
need to cruise on Paul Gauguin again and
have another go!
How to get there
The best route from the UK to Tahiti
is via Los Angeles. Air Tahiti Nui flies
from Paris to LA between five and
seven times a week depending on the
season and offers a daily service from
LA to Papeete, taking eight hours. The
national carrier has just launched its
new Dreamliner fleet, with a refreshed
cabin reflecting the tropical colours and
shapes of the idyllic Polynesian islands.
British Airways flies direct to Los Angeles.
Offer to organise a Polynesian cruise or
liveaboard diving holiday for a group
from your local dive club or shop.
With everything from hardy mountain
and rainforest hikes and thrilling water
sports to gentle swimming on the menu,
this is a perfect cruise for all ages.
Extend your client’s South Pacific holiday
with pre or post-cruise hotel nights in
Tahiti’s capital Papeete, Los Angeles or both.
Not just for cruise lovers
Think beyond cruising and target luxuryloving
clients looking for an exotic holiday
with plenty of sun, sea and sand.
Where to book it
The Cruise Portfolio has a one-week Tahiti
and the Society Island voyage with Paul
Gauguin Cruises from £4,272 per person
departing January 4, 2020 including
return flights with Air Tahiti Nui between
Los Angeles and Papeete.
Paradise is closer
than you think
m/s Paul Gauguin
Visit islands beyond the ordinary – Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea,
Huahine and Taha’a – in comfort and style on this award-winning
luxury small ship.
With heartfelt hospitality always on board, every destination
feels like home.
• Spacious oceanview accommodations
• All meals, plus complimentary room service
• All onboard beverages, including beer and select wines and
• All onboard gratuities for room steward and dining staff
• All shipboard entertainment
• Exclusive access to our private beach and motu
For further information or to make a booking,
please call 020 7399 7691 www.pgcruises.com
destination profile 51
It’s one of the ultimate long haul destinations and agents who can show why it’s
worth the long flight will reap the benefits, says Anna Selby
THE COOK ISLANDS
The main island is Rarotonga, famed
for its singers and dancers. Friday night
is the high-octane ‘Island Night’ – all
gyrating hips, coconut bras and haka
challenges (be ready to join in).
Its white-sand beaches and sparkling
lagoon are ideal for snorkelling, but
even more astonishing is the lagoon of
Aitutaki – a vast turquoise triangle with
water so clear you can see all the way
to the bottom. It’s heaving with marine
life – bright blue starfish, giant clams
with luminous lips and hawksbill turtles.
While on shore, transparent ghost crabs
scuttle and dive into holes as you walk.
It’s the stuff of desert island dreams,
especially if you stay in an over-water
bungalow – the epitome of South
Pacific glamour – where you can walk
straight down the steps of your terrace
into the lagoon and feed the fish from
the window in your bedroom floor.
Fiji has no fewer than 333 tropical
islands which, says the tourist
board, are ‘home to happiness’.
Claiming to be a leader in ecotourism,
Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral
capital of the world’ and as such,
boasts world-class diving and, on land,
hidden bays and secluded beaches.
The two main islands are Viti Levu and
Vanua Levu and there are plenty of resorts
on both. Denarau Island, off Viti Levu and
PIULA CAVE POOL, SAMOA
close to the capital and international airport
at Nadi, has a concentrated dose of resorts
plus a world-class golf course and marina.
Taveuni is the third-largest island,
known as the Garden Island for its lush
jungle, secluded waterfalls and abundant
wildlife, and an eco-tourist’s dream.
However, most visitors want to get away
to the smaller islands and from Viti Levu
you can see the Mamanucas, a string of
pearl-like islands which offer white sandy
beaches fringed with cocount palms.
They are a great spot for water sports.
Beyond the Mamanucas are the
exquisite Yasawas. You can take in
both as part of a cruise with local
operator Blue Lagoon Cruises.
The Yasawas played a major role in
the film The Blue Lagoon. It’s also the
historic spot from which two canoes
of cannibals chased the unfortunate
Captain Bligh just a week after the
mutiny on the Bounty (he got away).
Off the East coast of Viti Levu is the
Lomaiviti Group, home to the historical
port town Levuka, Fiji’s first capital and a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further east
are the off-the-beaten track Lau Islands.
AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS
A FIJIAN DANCER
Now marketed as ‘Tahiti and her Islands’,
this region has several island groups.
Most visited are the Society Islands,
of which Tahiti and Bora Bora are best
known. The Society Islands have the most
sophisticated resorts in the whole of the
South Pacific and offer a classy French
take on Polynesian food and style.
Pearls of wisdom
Go pearl fishing or see
them growing in Raiatea
and Taha’a’s vast lagoon.
Alternatively, just buy
them from a pearl shop
or (somewhat cheaper)
in a market like the one
in Tahiti’s Papeete.
Fiji’s national drink is
kava – a mildly narcotic
powdered root of a
pepper plant. OK, it looks
(and tastes) like dirty
dishwater but a kava
ceremony is a good way
to meet the locals.
© KAI MATTHES
Bird in the hand
Go to Atiu (Cook Island no
3) for the tumunu (bush
beer club) and a swim in
candlelit caves. Take an
eco-tour with Birdman
George who will literally
charm the birds out of the
trees for you.
Visit the most famous
hotel in the South
Pacific, Samoa’s Aggie
Grey’s, for fia fia (literally
happy) night with a feast
followed by dancing
Whale of a time
Tonga is one of the few
places in the world
where you can swim with
whales. Humpbacks visit
every year and specialist
guides will get you in the
water with these these
BOOK IT WITH... TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS
Turquoise Holidays has a 10-day holiday to
Fiji that sees guests staying in a treehouse
and an overwater bungalow. Priced from
£6,995pp the deal includes five nights at
Matangi Private Island Resort and five nights
at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Also included are
flights, meals and transfers.
01494 678 400
The Tuamotus are a series
of picture-perfect atolls floating
on turquoise lagoons, of which
the most popular is Rangiroa.
The Marquesas are more remote:
you can fly in but the best way to
explore is by boat (the Aranui 3 has
a 16-day cruise to the Marquesas
and Tuamotus from Papeete).
Even further afield, Mangareva in the
Gambier Islands is some 1,000 miles from
Tahiti – a four-and-a-half-hour flight away.
Samoa combines one of the most
traditional of Polynesian cultures with
stunning natural features – from white
coral beaches to blow-holes, unspoilt
rainforests to a solidified lava flow that
stretches down to the Savai’i coast.
Vailima is the beautiful colonial house
built by Treasure Island author
Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s now
a must-see museum and also
the name of the local beer.
There are two main islands – Savai’i
and Upolu – but you can also take a
ferry to road-free Manono Island and
reach even tinier, uninhabited islands
for a small fee to a local fisherman.
To really get to know the place, opt
for a village stay. You’ll be in a fale – an
open-sided house (hut really) on the
beach – just a raised platform with a
thatched roof, a mattress and a mosquito
net and you’ll share meals with the family.
Captain Cook didn’t call Tonga the
‘Friendly Isles’ for nothing. Less
visited than many of its Polynesian
neighbours, the locals reach out here
and it’s the last monarchy in the South
Pacific, stretching back 1,000 years.
A good place to meet islanders is
at an umu (and most resorts offer
this, too). Basically, it’s a feast cooked
in an underground oven – usually
followed by dancing. Not the frenzied
hip shaking you’ll find elsewhere in
the Pacific but the lakalaka, a graceful
dance with sung poetry; so special it
has UNESCO World Heritage status.
Tonga prides itself on being a very
family-friendly destination, with a
variety of activities for children including
guided fishing expeditions, swimming
with whales and turtles and visiting
local markets to see traditional weaving
and bone or wood carving.
Air Tahiti Nui is the national carrier to the French Polynesia departing from Paris,
Los Angeles, Tokyo and Auckland with connecting flights available from London
with airline partners.
From September 2019 all routes and flights will be operated by the Dreamliners.
World class hospitality with French and Polynesian influences is served on board.
Discover the latest innovations in comfort and technology on board our Tahitian
Dreamliner including a brand new Moana Premium class.
Ancillary services available to book: Priority pass, Lounge pass, Extra comfort
seats, Celebratory champagne and chocolates.
Tel: 0844 482 1675
The change of scenery starts with us.
Live the new “Tahitian Dreamliner” experience.
where in the
Whether clients are after a beach break or
secluded dune retreat, the Ritz-Carlton
in Ras Al Khaimah offers both, and if that
wasn’t enough, it’s only 45 minutes from Dubai.
With two properties in Ras Al Khaimah – one amid glorious
desert dunes and another on the Gulf’s sparkling blue
shores – The Ritz-Carlton offers holiday experiences packed
with activities and pampering, in stunning surroundings.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
Plan a getaway of desert discovery at The Ritz-Carlton Ras
Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert. Set amid a 500-hectare nature
reserve with private infinity-pool villas, clients can soak
in the nature by stargazing, desert biking, nature driving,
destination dining and horse riding surrounded by dunes.
From adventure to relaxation, get away from it all and discover
a tranquil wellness sanctuary in the Arabian Desert. Indulge
in the newly opened Rainforest, a healing water oasis with 16
different stations combining European hydrothermal culture
with Middle Eastern bathing rituals, or, treat yourself to one
of the signature spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.
There is plenty to entertain at this stunning and
exclusive desert escape. To make the most out of your
holidays, book the Ultimate Desert Experience package,
including full-board dine-around, Al Wadi ranger
activities, a falcon show and an owl interaction.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach
A short drive away, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, The Ritz-
Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach comprises 32
luxurious private pool villas sitting along a private beach,
each with their own infinity pool. First impressions certainly
won’t disappoint as guests arrive at the hotel, which is
set on its own island, via a complimentary boat ride.
Relaxation comes naturally here: refresh your senses at The
Ritz-Carlton Spa, inspired by the calming waves of the sea. For
the ultimate relaxation experience, book one of the Wellness
packages. An overnight stay includes daily breakfast, private
beach access, a complimentary transfer to the sister resort in
Al Wadi nature reserve, and – ideal for families – kids stay free.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get booking your
next escape. ritzcarlton.com/rasalkhaimah •
THE TRAVEL NEWS THAT REALLY MATTERS
NEWS: TOM DALEY HELPS TO PROMOTE LESSER-KNOWN AREAS OF JAPAN
CASA DE CAMPO, CARIBBEAN
CARI BBEAN NEWS
WIN A ST. KITTS FAM TRIP
NEWS FOCUS: SRI LANKA
A COUNTRY BOUNCING BACK
GET ONLINE – READ ALL OUR MAGAZINES AND CHECK OUT OUR DAILY SELLING TIPS AT SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
Agents can become an expert
on California’s Wine Country
by signing up to the new
Sonoma County Travel Pro
The portal will better
prepare agents to share, sell,
and promote Sonoma County
with the help of product
information, maps, shareable
images, information on trade
events and a directory of
activities and events.
Deleyse Langdale, Sonoma
County Tourism’s Vice
President, said: “In addition
to becoming a certified Travel
Pro, there’s also access to an
online tool kit, plus content
that can be shared directly
Agents can connect with
the Sonoma County team
via the new Facebook group,
Sonoma County Travel Pros.
JNTO teams with Tom Daley
BY JESSICA POOK
Olympic diver Tom Daley is a city which was badly affected by
helping to promote the lesserknown
prefectures of Japan ahead
of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The athlete has created a sixpart
content series off the back of
his recent trip to Japan, where he
travelled to several prefectures
the Tsunami in 2011.”
Talking of the Olympics next
year Tom admitted he’s excited
to see what host city Tokyo has
in store saying: “There’s already
a buzz around the upcoming
Olympics. I can’t wait to see the
north of Tokyo, including opening ceremony, I think it may
Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, outdo London.”
Aomori and Iwate.
He finished: “Japan is so well
Talking of his experience, Tom connected through its bullet
said: “It was great to be able to
see a different side of Japan. I was
surprised by the rural landscapes
and how unspoilt the country is.
He added: “I would recommend
trains, but another option is selfdriving.
They drive on the left
there but it’s easy to hire a car and
see more of the country.”
To further encourage travel
incorporating a homestay as to Japan the Setouchi Tourism
part of your trip, it allows you to
immerse yourself in the culture.
Authority is offering a place
on a fam trip for those who
I was particularly touched at the complete the introductory
sense of community I felt when
staying with a lady in Fukushima,
New agent sales
guide from Explore
Agents now have access to
another dedicated selling
tool with Explore’s Agents
The guide provides all the
necessary information and
assets to increase sales,
along with best-selling trips
and top-selling tips.
To incentivise sales, Explore
is offering agents the chance
to earn a free trip by booking
five passengers on itineraries
featured within the directory
before December 31, 2019.
Ben Ittensohn, Global
Head of Sales for Explore
comments: “Recent trade
sales have grown significantly
which is why we have created
a sales guide to capture more
of this growing sector.”
Visit Explore’s Facebook
page, ‘Explore Agents’, to
request a copy.
Sponsored content – Travelpack
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Get to know Kentucky with the latest guide
Find your copy of the new Holiday
and Travel Guide to Kentucky
with this month’s Selling Travel.
The publication highlights
some of the state’s ‘Real Americana’
experiences as well as outdoor
activities, city breaks and mustsee
attractions such as the
new Bluegrass Hall of
Fame and Museum in
Owensboro, the Kentucky
Bourbon Trail and the impressive
caves of Mammoth Cave
the review 57
New small ship deals
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Reethi Indulgence Offer still available:
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BY JESSICA POOK
Clients can enjoy complimentary
round-trip airfares and discounts
on a small ship expedition to
the Amazon, Galapagos or
Antarctica with Adventure Smith
They can save up to 40% on
Anakonda Amazon Cruises
and Manatee Amazon Explorer
Cruises to the Ecuadorian
Amazon with sailings on the Napo
River priced from $1,966pp.
The operator is also offering
complimentary local airfares and
savings of up to 10% on sailings
to the Galapagos onboard its
16-passenger luxury yacht, Sea
Star Journey, with prices starting
from $4,649. The complimentary
airlift is valid from Quito or
Guayaquil to Galapagos on
November 3, 17 and December
15, 2019 departures.
Alternatively, agents booking
a Seaman Journey Galapagos
Cruise from October through
to December, usually priced at
$2,599, can save up to 20% plus
a $300 discount on local airfare.
Clients wishing to explore
the Antarctic can do so with
airfare, with bar tab and all
gratuities included when booking
on the National Geographic
Explorer or Orion by December 31,
priced from $14,680 for 14 nights.
airfare, waived bar tab and crew
gratuities are also offered on the
National Geographic Antarctica,
South Georgia and Falkland
Islands cruise, from $25,220.
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First look at Scenic Eclipse
NEWS TO USE IN BRIEF
CLIA UK &
September means only one
thing in the cruise industry...
Each year the UK & Irish
cruise industry unites,
bringing together cruise lines,
travel agents, media and
consumers as part of a
campaign to highlight the
benefits of a cruise holiday.
This year, we are focusing
on two key themes,
sustainability and wellness,
to showcase and champion
what cruise lines are doing
to create a sustainable
future and offer enriching
We have created a
dedicated toolkit for CLIA
travel agents, found on
includes exclusive cruise line
deals and promotions, social
media graphics, ocean and
river cruise guides and a
sustainability fact sheet.
We’re also encouraging
agents to create their own
special cruise event to keep
in touch with existing
customers and entice firsttime
cruisers to book.
Getting actively involved in
Cruise Month can help
agents to increase both their
sales and the visibility of
We are looking forward to
successful Cruise Month with
our travel agent partners.
BY JESSICA POOK
Two onboard helicopters, a
submarine and luxury suites were
all revealed in a launch video of the
new ship Scenic Eclipse last month.
Described as the world’s first
discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse,
which is currently on its maiden
voyage from Reykjavik to Quebec,
offers six-star luxury and the latest
in design and innovation.
The two onboard helicopters
offer passengers the chance to
experience their surroundings
from new heights while the
onboard submarine can dive
down 300 metres for close-up
encounters with aquatic creatures.
Back on deck passengers
have the choice of ten dining
experiences, from alfresco meals
in the Yacht Club, to casual eating
in the Azure Bar & Café, and the
chance to dine at the Chef’s Table.
The 114 suites all have verandahs
and private butler service and for
the ultimate luxury experience the
Owner’s Penthouse Suite features
a spa bathroom and a private
terrace with jacuzzi.
Speaking at the launch event,
Joseph Grimley, Director of Trade
Sales said: “Despite the delays,
we’re excited to be celebrating
the launch of Scenic Eclipse as
she voyages from the Arctic
to Antarctica and everywhere
inbetween. We now look forward
to welcoming sister ship Scenic
Eclipse 2, due to launch in 2021.”
Timed to coincide with September
being CLIA’s Cruise Month, ‘River
to Riches’ is the latest incentive
from Shearings Holidays to help
drive 2020 river cruise sales.
Running until September
30, agents can earn a £40
Love2Shop voucher for every
2020 booking made on any
of the ships and cruise lines
featured within Shearings’
portfolio of river cruises, including
Agents can now secure
November bookings for
Reefsuites, Australia’s first
Cruise Whitsundays is
offering two underwater
Reefsuite options: a premium
king or twin single priced from
£412, both of which feature
floor-to-ceiling windows with
underwater views of the
Great Barrier Reef.
Lennox Hotel Miami Beach
has reopened following a
to maintain the property’s
legacy and restore its original
Art Deco design. The hotel
has 119 rooms, restaurant,
private beach area, and
courtyard with swimming
pool and poolside bar.
The new 1 Hotel West
Hollywood by SH Hotels &
Resorts, formerly The Jeremy,
has upped its sustainability
credentials and is now “one
of the most energy-efficient
hotels in L.A.” Its hotel uses
a smart irrigation system
that determines when soil
needs water, a sustainablygrown
and neighboring beehive.
Earn £40 Love2Shop vouchers with Shearings’ River to Riches incentive
A-ROSA, Amadeus Cruises and
Agents have over 62 itineraries
to choose from with many
including transfers by coach
rail or air travel, all of which are
included in the incentive.
To claim the vouchers agents
need to email their qualifying
booking references to win@
shearings.com before October 10,
THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES FROM THE CARIBBEAN
MEET THE CTO MEMBER
Director of Sales
& Marketing at
QWHAT don’t readers
know about your
company? The AMResorts
portfolio currently consists
of eight brands and 58
hotels across the Caribbean,
Mexico and Spain, with new
openings and destinations
in the pipeline for late 2019
and early 2020. Watch this
space for Secrets St. Martin
Resort & Spa!
QWHAT are the benefits
of being a CTO
member? The fantastic
and the joint agent training
sessions available. The CTO
team themselves have given
us lots of support over the
years. We’ve benefited
hugely from their advice
when launching hotels in
QWHAT CTO activities
do you get involved
in? We regularly attend the
PR roundtable events and
the Twitter chats are great
at getting people talking
about all things Caribbean.
And you’ll always see a few
of the team letting their hair
down at the CTO ball!
QWHAT’S your top
Take advantage of the
AMResorts Amazing Sale to
save 50% at selected hotels
for travel until October 31,
2020. Hurry as the offer
expires September 30!
Agents will have the chance to visit the colourful island of St. Kitts
St. Kitts fam trip up for grabs
AS part of its St. Kitts Agent Rewards Programme, the
tourist board is giving a £10 cash incentive for every
booking made to St. Kitts, alongside the chance to win
a place on a fam trip.
Agents that book a minimum of seven nights and
return flights will be entered into a draw to win a place
on a four-night fam trip from October 12 to October 16,
2019. The group will have the chance to explore the
history of the island at Brimstone Fortress, eat local
Caribbean food and explore the dense rainforest.
An additional £10 hotel bonus can be earned when
agents book at the following four hotels: Ocean
Terrace Inn, Sugar Bay Club, Park Hyatt
St. Kitts and Bell Mont Farm.
To win, agents must sign up to the
agent rewards programme and log
their bookings at:
New look for Nevis hotel
Resort in Nevis
is due to finish its
November. At the
centre of the
refresh is a new
3,300-square-foot infinity pool, featuring four
pool cabanas and wifi connectivity. Guests
can also enjoy the new restaurant, On The
Dune, which extends onto the sand,
transforming into a beach bar in the evening.
September 10 in
11 in Leeds and
September 18 in
CTO members out in force
OPEN IN DOMINICA
Kempinski Hotels is to
open a property on Dominica,
which will mark the island’s first
Due to open on October 14,
2019, the Cabrits Resort & Spa
Kempinski Dominica offers 151
rooms and suites with mountain
or ocean views. Amenities will
include a spa and three
restaurants onsite serving both
local and international cuisine as
well as ‘farm-to-table’ and ‘seato-table’
SIGNS UK CHEF
British Chef Clare
Smyth will form part of the lineup
for the Cayman Cookout, an
annual culinary event taking
place on Seven Mile Beach in the
Cayman Islands, January 15-19,
2020. Clare will join Michelin Star
chef Eric Ripert at the event,
which involves cooking
demonstrations, tastings, dining
events and local food tours. A
new culinary guide with the
latest news on restaurants
and culinary tours is now
MEMBERS of the
gathered for the
Social last month
revealed new hotel
openings. Tourist boards, tour operators and
media were told about the new Ocean Coral
Spring, a five-star H10-branded hotel due to
open November this year. The tourist board
also revealed plans to open a Margaritaville
next year (2020). visitjamaica.com
Sign up to the CTO’s training programme at caribbeantravelguru.com
the review: news focus
It has been a tough four months for those working in the Sri Lankan tourism industry,
but signs of better days ahead are already discernible, says Steve Hartridge
The road to recovery
Sri Lanka’s rising popularity was brought to
an abrupt halt on April 21 by the bombings
that killed more than 250 people in churches
and luxury hotels. Foreign visitor numbers
immediately fell off a cliff: down almost 71%
in May and 64% in June.
This sparked a flurry of activity and
initiatives designed to get the word out that
the destination is as safe as any country can
be in these uncertain times.
Many of Sri Lanka’s hoteliers, like
Resplendent Ceylon, Uga Escapes and
Taj Hotels, united with other travel
industry interests to create the Sri Lanka
Tourism Alliance, with online platform –
lovesrilanka.org – acting as a portal of
travel information for both the trade and
The country has also embarked on a
programme of personally-tailored individual
press visits to Sri Lanka to generate a spate
of positive publicity. And to lure tourists
back, the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry
introduced free tourism visas on arrival to
40 countries, including the UK.
On the ground in Sri Lanka, security
measures have been stepped up, most
noticeably at the international airport in
Colombo, popular tourist sites and temples.
But the country faces a steady rather than
rapid climb back to its previously-healthy
visitor numbers. Travelpack says its Sri Lanka
business was ‘severely impacted’ but director
Vishal Patel believes the company ‘owes it to
Sri Lanka to continue its investment there’.
“We have seen Sri Lanka go though worse
situations, like the tsunami and a civil war,
and it always bounces back stronger.”
He added: “Enquiries and sales have picked
up, but not at the rate we hoped for. We will
be arranging fam trips and pushing Sri Lanka
in the coming months.”
Kuoni hopes to boost its Sri Lanka bookings
through its current campaign with TV
presenter, Anita Rani (pictured above, bottom
right), who visited the country for a film now
featuring on the operator’s YouTube channel.
Rani is featured sampling egg hoppers,
watching baby elephants in Minneriya
National Park, climbing Sigariya Rock, walking
through jungle to the temples at Dambulla
and wildlife spotting off the south coast.
The early signs of a recovery are already
discernible, says Jean-Marc Flambert,
former Director UK, Sri Lanka Tourism. ”The
comeback has started and will continue to
grow. Many tour operators have campaigns
to give Sri Lanka a push, the industry in Sri
Lanka has pulled out all stops and the airlines
are committed to airlift for winter 2019/2020.“
Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing
Symphony PLC, which operates several
hotels and villas across the country, says it
experienced a busy August, with occupancies
in the mid-60% at most of its properties.
“We have received overwhelming support
from our travel partners and are confident
this winter will be a busy one...we are going
ahead with our planned completion of the
26-suite Jetwing Kandy Gallery, which will
open this December,” he said.
Natasha Muttettuwegama, Sales Manager
at The Haritha Collection, said she is
“encouraged” that many travellers kept their
bookings and visited during July and August.
“We believe this is down to guests feeling Sri
Lanka is safe and recognising it as an exciting
and unique destination,” she said.
There is plenty that is new to tempt return
visitors back, added Flambert. “The Nine
Mirissa, a luxury villa on the south coast
aimed at couples and families, opened in
April, while Flow by the Amber Collection
offers luxury houseboat cruises on
Bolgoda Lake, close to the capital Colombo.
Meanwhile, a refurbished Cinnamon Bentota
Beach will be unveiled in December.
Half a million families in Sri Lanka depend on
tourism and the industry is the country’s thirdlargest,
generating $4.4 billion a year.
BOOK IT WITH...SELECTIVE ASIA
The 14-night Insider’s Sri Lanka tour
showcases the country’s ‘lesser-known
gems’. Included is wildlife spotting in
Uda Walawe, street food in Colombo and
chill-out time on Aruba Bay’s secluded
sands. Accommodation includes Hill Country
(two nights) and Kumana National Park
(two nights). Prices start from £2,627pp
(excluding flights). selectiveasia.com
Sri Lanka Holiday Offers
Special Tour of Sri Lanka
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Gregory Lake - Udawalawa - Bentota - Beruwala
Travel : 1 Sep 19 - 31 Oct 19
Sri Lanka - East Coast Tour
Negombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya Rock - Kandy & more
13 nights 7 nights
Ceylon Cultural & Yala Park
Kandy - Dambulla / Habarana - Nuwara Eliya - Colombo & more
Travel : 1 Sep 19 - 31 Oct 19 Travel : 1 Sep 19 - 31 Oct 19
All promotional prices are per person includes flights from London & accommodation. Other departure airports available for a
supplement. These promotional offers are subject to availability.
T : 0208 585 4020
E : email@example.com
FOCUS ON CALIFORNIA
Keep up to date with all the news from the Golden State such as
the recent reopening of the stunning Highway 1 route through Big Sur
Visit California STAR Training Programme & Sales Companion
H Discover California through a series of inspiring, thematic modules
H Enjoy the all-new shopping module - available now
H Download and share any images, videos or other content to help inspire your clients
H Wine Country’s Sonoma County module – available now
the review: checking out 63
HOTELS / RESORTS
TRAIN JOURNEYS / CRUISES
HOTEL AZURE – South Lake Tahoe, California
BY JESSICA POOK
THE BACKGROUND: Hotel Azure is
a small boutique-style property of
100 rooms, ranging from the deluxe
Just a stone’s throw from
two-bedroom Lakeview Suite to
Lake Tahoe, Azure
ground level Accessible Rooms. In
provides the perfect base
2016 the hotel (formerly the Inn by
for activities like
the Lake) completed a $3.5 million
watersports, hiking or
renovation which included all rooms
skiing the Sierra Nevada
and suites, public spaces and the
Mountains. Its location
on the California side of
THE LOCATION: Close to the ski
the lake lends it a
slopes of Heavenly and not far
tranquil feel with alpine
from the mountain terrain of Sierra
views, but the bustling
Nevada and Kirkwood, Hotel Azure is
Heavenly Valley, on the
a popular choice for skiers. The hotel
decorated with calm, neutral colours,
heated year-round. The Bear Beach
Nevada side, is just a 10
enjoys prime views of Lake Tahoe
it gives the illusion of bringing nature
Café provides a hearty breakfast
minute drive away.
and is a short walking distance
indoors. The plush beds and modern
and there’s also a Scottish pub next
to activity centres which provide
bathrooms give a luxurious feel and
door with a menu of classic pub
RATES: One night at the
kayaks, paddleboards and jetski hire.
all guestrooms feature a patio or
favourites. Guests have access to
Hotel Azure in a Lake
It’s also close to various restaurants,
balcony with lake or alpine vistas.
free wifi, parking, fitness facilities and
View Double Queen room
bars and the lively casinos and bars
KEY FACILITIES: The pool and hot
a games room.
starts from £193.
of Heavenly Valley.
tub are the perfect place to unwind
THE ROOM: Extremely spacious and
after a day of activities and are
TEWKESBURY PARK – GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK
BY JO AUSTIN
THE BACKGROUND: This familyowned
and run hotel, set in 165
18-hole golf course, the hotel was
awarded Fido’s Favourite Pet Friendly
Hotel by Best Loved Hotels in 2017.
Only five minutes from M5’s
junction nine, on the doorstep of
Tewkesbury and within easy reach
acres of parkland outside historic
THE LOCATION: With stunning
of Cheltenham, Gloucester and
There’s an overall sense
Tewkesbury, has recently completed
views of Tewkesbury Abbey and the
of informality combined
the second phase of a multi-million
Malvern Hills from its hilltop position,
THE ROOM: Dog-friendly ‘pampered
with attentive and
pound renovation. Offering 84
the property has a contemporary
pooch’ rooms are on the ground
friendly staff who simply
guestrooms and nine suites plus an
feel but retains historic features.
floor overlooking the golf course
cannot do enough to help
with doors leading onto private
make you (and your dog!)
parkland. There’s a Scottish
feel welcome. The perfect
influence, with tartan carpet and dog
place for a relaxing break
bed, and amenities including tea and
or a golfing/walking
coffee making facilities.
weekend. I loved the
KEY FACILITIES: Golf course and
collection of colourful
tennis courts; a leisure club with
wellies in reception, ready
sauna, gym and indoor pool. There’s
for guests to take on one
a large, airy reception and bar area,
of the area’s great walks.
a breakfast room for dog owners
and a separate dining room with
RATES: Prices start from
breakfast buffet and a la carte
£70 a night for a double
room (room only)
the review: checking out
HOTELS / RESORTS
TRAIN JOURNEYS / CRUISES
CASA DE CAMPO RESORT & VILLAS – Dominican Republic
BY MARTIN STEADY
THE BACKGROUND: Truly a
remarkable luxury holiday
and a further dressing area with
a safe and wardrobe. Patio doors
lead onto a good-sized balcony,
various shopping options, several
swimming pools – one with a swimup
bar - and three private, pristine
destination, Casa de Campo
perfect for morning coffees and
white sand beaches. For the kids
Casa De Campo is
covers 7,000 acres and has three
evening sundowners. There
there are supervised programmes
described as the most
world-class golf courses. But
are also tea-making facilities, a
including all activities.
inclusive resort in the
that’s just the start of it, and the
Nespresso machine and mini bar.
There are also a great number
resort’s huge array of facilities
RESTAURANTS/BARS: There are
of unique locations for destination
affordable luxury at
attract a wide ranging clientele,
ten excellent restaurants, including
weddings and a state of the art
competitive prices. The
including families, honeymooners,
coffee, juice, cocktail and beach
wellness facility with extensive spa,
breadth of options is vast
sports enthusiasts, and even a few
bars. The dining choice is vast
holistic treatments and yoga.
- unlimited horse riding
celebrities and heads of state.
- Spanish tapas, classic Italian,
Not to be missed is a visit to
and weekly clay pigeon
THE LOCATION: Romana, in
fresh sushi, Mexican, up-scale
the unique village of Altos De
shooting in addition to all
the southeast of the island,
food trucks and more. La Caña
Chavón, a full-sized 16th century
of the normal all-inclusive
east of historical capital Santo
restaurant offers French-inspired
Italian-style replica village
features - yet expertly
Domingo and close to Punta Cana
fare and guests gather at the
with restaurants, shops, an
dealt with. The resort has
outside bar and lounge area each
archaeological museum, the St.
options for every kind of
THE ROOM: There are 247 rooms,
night to enjoy live local music and,
Stanislaus Church, sweeping views
traveller and endless
from hotel suites to private villas,
if you fancy it, hand-rolled cigars
of the Chavón River and a 5,000-
ways to get away from it
some with private pools and staff.
and a range of Dominican rums.
seat Grecian-style amphitheatre
all. Impressive from start
I stayed in the Elite Balcony Room
KEY FACILITIES: I loved the
that is used for internationally-
which is spacious, cool and well
stunning new Minitas Beach Club
renowned concerts. Frank Sinatra
appointed. An enormous and
but other venues for relaxing and
was the first star to perform there
RATES: Net rates can be
very comfortable bed faces a
activities include the Caribbean’s
when it opened in 1982. The village
obtained via Resort
multi-channel TV. There’s a large
largest marina, an equestrian/
is also a cultural centre for working
bathroom with free-standing bath,
polo centre, shooting centre,
artists like painters and weavers.
walk-in shower and double sinks,
tennis courts, water sports centre,
my trip to...Las Vegas 65
In the firing line
Steve Hartridge spends a day in revitalised downtown Las Vegas,
exploring some of the must-see attractions away from The Strip
The mechanic in the dirty
overalls looks up from behind
the boot of a rusty Oldsmobile,
clenching a heavy-duty spanner. He
takes a menacing step towards me.
“Stop right there, and drop the tool,” I
command, my CO2 pistol now drawn. But
he ignores me and moves a pace closer.
“Drop to the floor NOW or I will shoot,” I
yell, my extended arms pointed directly at
him and my finger twitching on the trigger.
He makes a sudden move – and I fire.
The mechanic drops to the ground and is
motionless. A voice from above says:
“Well, done, you have successfully
completed your training”.
With perspiring palms, I emerge into the
light of the foyer of the Mob Museum
(themobmuseum.org), having just
experienced one of the facility’s newer
attractions: the Use of Force Training
Experience, based on the type of instruction
that real Las Vegas law enforcement officers
receive. Featuring ‘criminal actors’, the
‘situations’ are very real-to-life and my heart
is still racing.
I am spending a couple of days seeing
some of Las Vegas’ alternative attractions,
away from the bright lights and malls on
The Strip. I say alternative but the Mob
Museum (full name The National Museum
of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement)
is now a must-see stop on any Vegas trip.
Since it opened in 2012, it has regularly
added interactive attractions – you can even
‘electrocute’ yourself in an ‘electric chair’ – to
its exhibits that tell the warts-and-all story
of organised crime’s impact on Las Vegas
and its unique imprint on America.
Before leaving I drop into The
Underground, a basement-level Prohibition
history exhibition and speakeasy, for a
bourbon shot in its distillery.
Up in bright lights
It’s a short Uber ride to the Neon
Museum (neonmuseum.org), a ‘boneyard’
spread over a 2.6-acre outdoor area, also
The headline acts are the 150 or so
oversized decommissioned and nonrestored
neon signs that once lit up
casinos, hotels and other businesses in
the city. It’s an eclectic mix of the kitsch,
burlesque and retro-modern – think
Golden Nugget, the original Aladdin’s lamp
from the Aladdin Casino and the Silver
Slipper – for which the city is known.
Take a tour after sunset to see some of
the signs lit up. The visitor
centre is housed in the restored lobby of
the defunct La Concha Motel.
A taste of downtown
That evening I explore more of the
revitalised downtown area on a food tour.
I have been on several of these, in various
cities, where the tiny portions on offer
have left me looking for the nearest
Subway on the walk back to my hotel.
But that’s not the case on a Lip
Smacking Foodie Tour (vegasfoodietour.
com), which makes stops at up to four top
restaurants. The idea is to introduce
visitors and locals alike to the best
signature dishes and exciting new tastes
in Las Vegas, whilst a guide imparts their
knowledge of the city through a series of
anecdotes about its rich history.
At each restaurant, I am treated like a VIP
as I am shown to a reserved table and
served three or four signature dishes. After
eating curry at an Indian, pizza at an Italian
and Dim Sum at a Chinese – all top-notch
restaurants – there is little room for
pastries and cake at our final stop.
It’s been a full day, but I have had a
fulfilling taste of Las Vegas’s ‘other side’ in
more ways than one.
The Neon Museum
The Mob Museum
six of the best
NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales
You don’t have to venture too far from the busy cities to
discover secluded islands in New South Wales, says
Recognised as ‘one of
the world’s cleanest
Island maintains its
pristine status by
limiting visitors to
400 at any one time. Home to untouched forests,
ancient volcanic mountains and an abundance of
wildlife and rare flora and fauna, the UNESCO site is
a popular draw for hikers, birdwatchers and
snorkellers, who have the chance to hand feed the
fish at Ned’s Beach.
Enjoy being cut off
from city life by
staying in one of the
Cottages on this
remote island, just off the coast of Narooma,
southern NSW. With a colony of Australian fur
seals and thousands of penguins for company
there’s never a dull moment. The island is easily
accessible by one of the many tours leaving
Looking for the best
views of Sydney
Harbour Bridge and
the Royal Opera
House? You’ll find
them on tiny Clarke
Island, just off
Sydney’s Darling Point. With a capacity of just 150
people at one time, its small size means there’s
no ferry access, but visitors can get there by
water taxi or kayak. Once on the island, enjoy a
picnic surrounded by some of the country’s most
Known as the
gathering place for
tribes, Dangar Island
gives visitors an
insight into the
history of these indigenous people. Located in the
middle of the Hawkesbury River, the island is
accessible by ferry from Brooklyn marina - an
hour’s train ride from Sydney. Find secluded
beaches by exploring the shoreline’s biking and
A place where you
could be learning
about past prisoners
who were sent to
the island one
minute, the next
singing along to a Justin Bieber concert! Located
in the heart of Sydney Harbour, a short ferry ride
from the CBD, the island has emerged as a
popular arts and entertainment venue, but still
maintains its historic draw as a former convict
GREAT LAKES TOURISM
dream, this island
has one of the only
visitors can camp
amidst an active
seabird colony and is a key breeding site for
wedge-tailed shearwaters. Part of Myall Lakes
National Park, off the coast of Port Stephens,
Broughton Island’s undersea caves, coral, and
curious penguins also appeal to scuba divers.
For those clients seeking to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the typical
attractions of the Caribbean, Tobago is up there with the best, says Alan Orbell
Few parts of the world conjure up
images of pure hedonism like the
Caribbean, but for those for whom the
purity of nature is of equal importance,
Tobago is a great option.
Just off the coast of South America
Trinidad & Tobago has a combined area of
a little over 5000 sq km, of which Tobago
takes up just 300 sq km., some of it
Together with stunning unspoilt
Caribbean beaches it is the Tobago Forest
Reserve – the oldest (since 1776) protected
rainforest in the western hemisphere –
that is a major draw for many.
It is here that visitors will see some of the
180-plus species of birds that call Tobago
home. The main point of access to the
rainforest is the Gilpin Trace and a couple
of hours’ stroll along this track (though a
three- to four-hour walk will take you all
the way to Bloody Bay) will reveal richlycoloured
woodpeckers and parrots.
It’s quite possible to walk the trail alone,
but a qualified guide is to be strongly
recommended. Without one visitors will
certainly miss much of the flora and fauna,
none of which, incidentally, is venomous.
The sounds of the rainforest offer nothing
but the rustle of the breeze, occasional
cicadas and non-stop birdsong.
A visit to the rainforest should be
recommended as a ‘must’ for anyone.
Tobago is littered with hidden bays on
both its Atlantic and Caribbean (leeward)
coasts. On the leeward side, stunning
sandy beaches at places further up the
BOOK IT WITH... CARIBTOURS
Seven nights at Coco Reef Resort and Spa is
from £1,299pp, B&B. The resort has a private
lagoon and white sand beach, surrounded by
ten acres of tropical gardens. Alternatively,
seven nights room-only at the island's most
luxurious resort, The Villas at Stonehaven, is
from £1,559. caribtours.co.uk; 020 3627 1777
coast like Castara, Englishman’s Bay,
Parlatuvier and Bloody Bay remain largely
unspoiled with little but the odd café/bar
and souvenir shop.
For those who prefer a more commercial
offering, Pigeon Point is the place.
There’s a small TT$20 charge to get in but
it comes with sunbed/parasol hire options,
lifeguards and plenty of places to eat
and drink. The thatched jetty is probably
Tobago’s most photographed scene.
From here there are glass-bottom boat
cruises plus the full range of watersports
from snorkeling and diving to windsurfing
and boating. All told, Tobago has some 60
The main attractions in Tobago’s biggest
town, Scarborough, are the small botanic
garden and the 1777-built Fort King
George complex, which has played a
central part in the 30-plus times Tobago
has changed hands.
The clifftop Heritage Park includes two
museums with the Tobago Icons Museum
housing artifacts dating back to 2500 BC.
Other attractions include the Argyle
Waterfall and, for visitors staying in
the last two months of July, the biggest
of the annual cultural events, the
Tobago Heritage Festival. This is when
Tobagonians display their culture and reenact
It’s easy to hire a car in Tobago and there
are also plenty of taxis willing to take
clients on a private tour. Organised tours
are also plentiful.
But however your clients see the island
it’s well worth suggesting they spend some
time away from the hotel pool.
Where to stay
A good base, combining the indulgences
of an all-inclusive resort with easy access
to Tobago’s natural attractions, is the
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort.
For golfers it also offers a PGA-designed
18-hole golf course. Rates, including flights,
are from around £1,799pp.
In conversation with... Ian Nash,
Regional Manager UK & Ireland, Air Mauritius
QWhat’s new with Air Mauritius?
A: We are delighted and proud to have
started operating brand-new A330-900neo
aircraft this year on our London route,
making Air Mauritius the first A330neo
operator in the Indian Ocean and the
world’s first operator of both the A350-XWB,
which flies on our Paris to Mauritius
route, and the A330neo,
Airbuses’ new generation
of wide-bodied aircraft.
This really is a sea
change for us
and shows our
the very best
quality product to
Q agents book
A: As the national carrier, their
customers will experience Mauritius
the moment they step on the aircraft. Our
Mauritian cabin crew are renowned for
their friendly, professional service whilst
our unique ‘cooking without borders’ menu
brings together a wonderful blend of Indian,
African, Chinese and European flavours.
This, plus totally new product – including
fully flat business class seats, state-of-theart
inflight entertainment and large full HD
screens – means Air Mauritius offers agents
the very best value for money on non-stop
direct flights to Mauritius - plus, we are the
only carrier to fly direct from Heathrow
to Mauritius and will carry golf bags and
wedding dresses at no extra charge.
We are the National Airline of Mauritius
and celebrated our 50th anniversary in
2017. A Skytrax four-star rated airline,
Air Mauritius has been voted the Indian
Ocean’s leading airline by The
World Travel Awards 14 times
in 17 years.
How do you
Q work with
A: Our busy
sales team call
on agents all
over the country,
updates and training
sessions. With new
products to show off,
we try to send as many
sellers to the island as we
can; this year we’ll send over 100
on educationals. Our Air Mauritius Training
(airmauritiusacademy.com) is a great way
for agents to find out more about us. We
also post information and promotional
opportunities on our trade Facebook and
QWhat benefits do agents get for
working with Air Mauritius?
A: We regularly partner with top resorts
on the island to offer incentive promotions
where top sellers can win a holiday for
two. Top revenue-producing partners
receive incentive payments, free staff and
management tickets plus educational seats.
QWhat are the twin-centre options with
A: We fly to over 20 destinations from our
hub in Mauritius. Probably the most popular
is the combination of a safari in South
Africa followed by relaxing on the beach
in Mauritius. We offer a wide selection of
flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and
Durban. But as customers strive for new
experiences, our flights to Madagascar have
seen increased demand whilst Mauritius
provides the best stopover location enroute
to Perth in Australia. Other destinations
connected to Mauritius include India, South
East Asia and China.
QWhat does the future hold?
A: We have a fleet investment
programme and will continue to focus on
providing the very best flying experience in
the Indian Ocean. In the UK, our short term
focus will be to ensure all our partners are
fully aware and hopefully experience the
new improved level of onboard service.
In the future we’re keen to offer more
flight options to Mauritius, with a possible
increase in the number of direct flights.
Flying you direct onboard
our upgraded aircraft
Full at Business Class seats
State of the art entertainment system
Individual 15.4 inch HD LED screens
All seats have aisle access
Complimentary lounge access
State of the art inight entertainment
Individual 11.1 inch HD LED Screens
Complimentary luggage allowance
Champagne service (pre-order required)
Golf bag and wedding dress carried free
In both cabins enjoy the warm Mauritian welcome, an excellent choice of food
styled on the multicultural essence of Mauritius and friendly on board service
For more information:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8834 5800 Email: UKReservations@airmauritius.com
Web: www.airmauritius.com Trade web: www.airmauritius.biz
Air Mauritius Training Site: www.airmauritiusacademy.com
how to sell
Northern Lights cruises
A Northern Hemisphere cruise is a cost-effective option for clients who have
seeing the Northern Lights on their bucket list, says Laura Gelder
Why sell it
Aurora Borealis – better known as the
Northern Lights – is nature’s own light
show and one of the most sought after
experiences that Mother Nature can offer.
Often as elusive as it is spectacular, this
phenomenon of green, purple, blue and
pink lights dancing across night skies is
caused when charged particles from the sun
strike atoms in earth's atmosphere.
The lights are only seen in the upper
reaches of the Northern Hemisphere,
and the further north the better – which
makes the Arctic Circle the top location
for Aurora gazing. These remote and
often frozen places are hard to access and
accommodation isn't ubiquitous and can be
expensive, which is why a cruise is a popular
way to package the experience.
A Northern Lights cruise means agents can
guarantee their clients a consistant standard
of service, while a curated programme of
shore excursions helps them access the
reigon's wild places.
Who to sell to
Target those who have enjoyed the rugged
landscapes of New Zealand's South Island
or North America's Rockies, and clients who
have expressed an interest in Scandinavian
city breaks or enjoy excorted tours or
cruises with a nature focus.
This could be a break-through sell for
cruise sceptics too because, depending on
the cruise line, the all-inclusive nature of a
WINTER SHORE EXCURSION
GODAFOSS WATERFALL, ICELAND
cruise means it can offer the best-value way
to see the Northern Lights. Scandinavia, in
particular, is generally expensive so keeping
costs down can be crucial to making a sale.
When to sell it
Darkness is required to actually see the
Northern Lights. They are observed at high
latitudes, where the midnight sun means
there is no darkness at all for many months,
so the lights are not a year-round attraction.
They are visible from late August to early
April (anytime during dark hours) but
from late September to March it gets dark
as early as 18.00, increasing that window of
Note that December isn’t always an
ideal month because popular viewing
destinations like Tromsø in Norway can see
70% probability of precipitation, meaning
What to sell
Activities and excursions are hugely varied.
There are wildlife watching trips to see
whales, birds like puffins and eagles and
even polar bears. Active excursions include
hiking mountains and glaciers, kaying and
boat trips, as well as winter sports such as
husky or reindeer sledding, snow-mobiling,
snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.
Cultural tours include meeting indigenous
people such as the Sami reindeer herders of
Scandinavia or the Innuit of North America.
Excursions also explore towns and cities,
giving an insight into their culture and
architecture – like Alta's futuristic Cathedral
of the Northen Lights in Norway. Cultural
experiences range from eating reindeer to
listening to a Sami Yoik choir.
Onboard, ships have lecturers on hand
BOOK IT WITH...CRUISE & MARITIME
Departing London Tilbury on October 12 2019,
the 12-night round-trip Iceland and Land of
the Northern Lights cruise visits the Faroe
Islands, Akureyri and Reykjavík in Iceland and
the Orkney Islands. Excursions include whale
watching, Iceland's Blue Lagoon, Orkney's
Standing Stones of Stenness and the Faroes'
Vestmanna Sea Cliffs. cruiseandmaritime.com –
0844 414 6140
how to sell 71
“The all-inclusive nature of
a cruise means it can offer
the best-value way to see the
Scandinavia, in particular,
FJORD VIEWS, NORWAY
to give talks on subjects such as wildlife,
astronomy, geology and others.
Where to sell
There are several destinations which
can yield spectacular Aurora viewings,
but perhaps the best-known route is up
Norway's coastline from the fjords to the
Arctic circle. Many cruises start and end
in the UK but the most popular stops on
this route are Bergen, with its picturesque
waterfront fronted by multi-coloured
buildings, and Tromsø, considered the
gateway to the Norwegian Arctic and home
to the northernmost botanic garden.
Iceland is often combined with the Faroe
Islands and Scottish islands for a Northern
Lights cruise, with ports of call including
the Faroese capital Tórshavn, with its
turf-covered roofs and viking history, and
Reykjavik for trips to the Blue Lagoon and
Golden Circle Tours which take in Gullfoss
Waterfall, many geysers and geothermal
features and Thingvellir National Park.
Alaska cruises offer a good chance to
see the Northern Lights at the right time
of year. Many are round-trip from Seattle
through the Inside Passage and calling
at ports like Ketchikan, with its Native
American and pioneer history; the gold rush
town of Skagway; state capital Juneau; and
Fairbanks, a top Aurora-viewing destination.
If your clients are keen on an expeditionstyle
cruise, and have the budget to
accommodate, Greeland can offer
spectacular viewing opportunities as well as
the chance to see glaciers, fjords and bucket
list wildlife like musk ox and polar bears.
Britain’s leading independent cruise line presents
Our biggest ever winter
On sale now!
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE
PLUS ADDED VALUE BENEFITS
ON SELECTED CRUISES*
Grand Round the World Cruise
120 nights - 6th Jan 2021
1st Adult from £17999
2nd Adult FREE - £8999pp
Marco Polo’s Grand Oriental Odyssey
110 nights - 5th Jan 2021
1st Adult from £16599
2nd Adult FREE - £8299pp
South America & Amazon Discovery
84 nights - 7th Jan 2021
1st Adult from £12599
2nd Adult FREE - £6299pp
Voyage to Australia & New Zealand
52 nights - 9th Oct 2020
1st Adult from £7779
2nd Adult FREE - £3889pp
Grand Northbound Voyage to UK
74 nights - 1st Feb 2021
1st Adult from £9999
2nd Adult FREE - £4999pp
Book online at: www.cruiseandmaritime.com Call: 0844 414 6161
Agency Sales: 0844 414 6140 Brochures: www.trade-gate.co.uk
Subject to availability. *Book by 30th September 2019. Terms & conditions apply. Offered for sale in the UK by South Quay Travel
& Leisure Ltd trading as Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your telephone comany’s access charge.
ABTA V9945. ATOL 4619. C106/P103/G105/V001/V160TL. 5378
Best Cruise Line
Untitled-10 1 sellingtravel.co.uk
0800 619 0900
please visit our website.
For up to date arrivals sign /
Discount on Travel Insurance
Additional 20% discount on our travel
insurance for industry staff
● Kids go FREE - up to 3 kids insured free per insured adult
● Selection of adventure sports covered, terms and conditions apply
● Additional add-ons available such as cover for winter sports
Bookable online using promo code TDSEP
or call 0330 400 1316
New policies only. Discount not applied to optional extras and cover for pre-existing
medical conditions. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code
Limited offer - must be booked by 30th Sep 2019. Terms & Conditions apply
Touchdown is a trading style of Travelbrands Ltd. Travelbrands Ltd travel insurance is arranged and
administered by Insure & Go Insurance Services Ltd. Travelbrands Ltd is an introducer appointed
representative of Insure & Go Insurance Services Ltd for Travel Insurance. Insure & Go Insurance Services
Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 309572) with
registered address: 1 Victoria Street, Bristol Bridge, Bristol, BS1 6AA. Registered in England and Wales
(Company no. 04056769)
PLUS FREE child places & resort credit up to $2500
Exclusive FREE room upgrade!
PLUS FREE child places, FREE return airport transfers
& resort credit up to $2500
Upgrade available on selected dates. More resorts are available,
please call for details.
7 night San Juan Roundtrip
01 Dec 19 - Silver Wind
San Juan, Jost Van Dyke, Basseterre, Fort-de-France,
St. Johns, Charlestown, Gustavia, San Juan.
All-Inclusive Lifestyle: All-Inclusive ultra-luxury suite accommodation,
butler service in every suite, all beverages, gratuities, port charges,
taxes and more.
7 night Mediterranean
30 Jan 20 - MSC Grandiosa
Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome),
Palermo (Sicily), Valetta, Barcelona.
7 night Western Mediterranean
17 May 19 - Allure of the Seas ®
Barcelona, Palma (Majorca), Marseille,
Staff's family may travel independently.
La Spezia (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples
Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort
from £95 All-Inclusive
FREE child places!
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.
7 night Cruising the Rhine, Main & Moselle
02 Oct 19 - Brabrant
Dusseldorf, Cologne, Cochem, Cruise Moselle River,
Koblenz (overnight), Cruise Rhine River, Cruise Main River,
Miltenberg, Cruising Middle Main Quadrangle, Wurzburg,
Crusing by the Hassberge Mountains, Bamberg, Nuremberg.
7 night Captivating Rhine
16 Nov 19 - AmaPrima
Amsterdam (overnight), Cologne, Rudesheim,
Ludwigshafen, Strasbourg, Breisach, Basel.
7 night Vienna to Prague
15 Dec 19 - Avalon Passion
Vienna (overnight), Grein, Passau, Regensburg,
Nuremberg, Prague (2 nights).
the final word 73
the quirky side of travel
Slaves to the screen
It's official, 72% of millennials can't go
on holiday without their phone, at least
according to research from international
mobile service provider, TravelSim.
Its UK survey revealed we are spending
over 32 hours a week on our phones and
tablets whilst on holiday. On average,
women spend over three hours on social
media, while men scroll for two and a
half hours, and 59% of parents take tech
on holiday to entertain the kids.
Manchester and Newcastle claim the
highest number of people (62%) needing
a digital detox while Norwich dwellers
are smugly the least reliant on tech.
Video streaming apps are most
popular, followed by Facebook and
messaging, Instagram and emails.
Beers of the world
The global average price of a pint is
£2.63, according to comparison site
Finder. So why, you may ask, does a
pint in the UK cost upwards of £3.70? If
you reside in London, you will likely pay
£5.18. But don't cry in your beer and
take some comfort by this: the dearest
was found in Doha, Qatar, at £10.30.
Or just move to Maputo, Mozambique,
where it's 39p. finder.com/uk
For better or woof...
Do you sell destination weddings?
Have you booked dog-friendly trips?
Lake District hotel Armathwaite Hall
has combined the two to offer a new
pooch grooming service, making sure
four-legged guests are looking their
paws-down best on the big day. Dogs
are bathed and groomed, dressed in
occasion attire and delivered to the
aisle to woof along with the 'I dos'.
Behold, the top locations for hen and stag
parties in Europe, as listed by Alpha Insurance
(alphatravelinsurance.co.uk), which looked
at the price of flights, hotels and beers and
number of bars and attractions.
1 Madrid, Spain
2 Prague, Czech Republic
3 Berlin, Germany
4 Bratislava, Slovakia
5 Hamburg, Germany
6 Paris, France
7 Barcelona, Spain
8 Rome, Italy
The October 2019 issue oF SELLING TRAVEL WILL INCLUDE: Adventure holidays • California • Central America • Christmas Markets • New York • Philippines •
Seychelles • contact us firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
plus online Daily Selling Tips • Destination Guides • Features • Blogs • Interview • Reviews
Thank you for nominating Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc in
the category of Best Destination for Weddings & Honeymoons.
The Barbados Elite Club, has been set up for travel professionals like
you. If you’re passionate about Barbados and want to send your
clients to the most luxurious and exciting destination while earning
valuable rewards yourself, Barbados Elite Club is for you.
Through our brand-new platform, you’ll discover that there is so
much more to Barbados than just year-round sun and white sand
beaches. From the low-down on local festivals, insights into the
fascinating culture and who mixes the best cocktail, Barbados Elite
Club will provide you with all the information you need to make your
clients’ holiday dreams a reality.
What’s more, through the club you’ll earn points which all add up
to gorgeous gifts courtesy of Barbados Tourism.
Create an Account in less
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a cup of tea.
Strengthen and broaden
your knowledge of
Submit the bookings you
have made for approval by
Use your points to redeem
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and fam trip opportunities.
T’s & C’s apply.
Be inspired by...
Trends in the over-50s market • Interview with: Titan Travel
• New & top selling holidays for the over 50s market
OVER 50s TRAVEL
MATURE TRAVEL TRENDS
The over-50s travel market has a tendency to be overlooked or pigeonholed, yet
specialists say it’s more adventurous, diverse and lucrative than many imagine.
Debbie Ward investigates
Solo travel is trending across escorted
travel and is particularly high
in the over-50s market. Riviera
(rivieratravel.co.uk) has increased its solo
tours from 12 to 40. “We’ve really seen
growth over the last year to 18 months,
since our launch of solo tours. It's not
necessarily people who’ve lost a partner,
it may be people whose other half doesn’t
have an interest in the same destination,”
explains National Sales Manager for UK
and Australia, Tom Morgan.
Seeing similar demand, Leger Holidays
(leger.co.uk) has added six new Single
Traveller tours for 2020, with no single
supplement and a door-to-door service.
The over-50s sector is increasingly active.
“I’ve been thrilled at how much more
adventurous the mature market are. Not
many will just go and lie on a beach now,”
says Clare Dudley, Managing Director of
Cambridge-based agent Ponders Travel.
Leger has added more See It Live tours
to the Venice and Nice carnivals, Monaco
Grand Prix and Brussels Jazz Weekend.
Its specialist guided battlefield tours, of
which it offers over 80, have been boosted
by media coverage. “We had a number of
battlefield tours to the 75th anniversary
D-Day commemorations,” says Head of
Retail Sales Ashley Dellow.
Riviera Travel has added Discover tours,
with three levels of walks. “It’s not the same
as 10 to 20 years ago when you went on a
coach tour… people want to get out and
explore,” explains Morgan.
Personalised extras like the ballet in
Russia are also new, while its escorted
ocean range now features Azamara and
Saga (saga.co.uk) has added excursions
to all its European holidays and new ships,
Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure,
are performing ‘exceptionally well because
they aid adventure. “We know there’s a real
desire to sail ex-UK on a luxury small ship.
Their size allows visits to unique ports of
call,” says Head of Trade Sales, Iain Powell.
Luxury is another mature market trend.
Saga’s door-to-door VIP Travel Service is
among its other product tweaks in recent
years, while for 2020 its Stay programmes
include a Signature Collection of hotels
with dedicated lounges and exclusive
arrangements for Saga guests. Product
differentiation is key, says Powell, and
offering a unique, tailored experience “helps
to immerse them in the local culture.”
Leger believes the luxury trend is a
natural extension of mature clients’ desire
for a more comfortable holiday. Its new
Luxuria coaches come with extra-wide
seats, increased legroom, retractable calf
rests and personal touch-screen TVs. The
Luxuria Signature Collection, launched
last year, is a selection of holidays which
“combines state-of-the-art coach travel
with some of Europe’s most fascinatingly
unique hotels…. from Spanish Paradors to
fairy tale German castles,” adds Dellow.
Trips with children and grandchildren,
are an important trend and a gateway to
lucrative long-haul group bookings.
“Grandparents are ringing and saying ‘I
want to take everyone away for Christmas’
OVER 50s TRAVEL 77
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Leger Holidays offers stays in German castles; multi-generational travel is on the up; battlefield tours are trending; experiential travel is big for over 50s
OVER 50s TRAVEL
ABOVE: Demand for India is rising, according to Newmarket Holidays and Saga
and they don’t want to just fly-and-flop,
some are taking family from Australia and
the UK and meeting in-between,” Dudley
from Ponders Travel says. “I’ve done a trip
round Burma for one family. They’re often
big bookings and interesting to do.”
The Far East, Caribbean and Disney
prove popular, she says, as do villas with
private pools, though escorted tours are
less common with children involved.
Destination hot list
Long haul is booming for Newmarket
Holidays (newmarketholidays.co.uk) as
continuing Brexit uncertainty prompts
clients to look beyond the Eurozone. India,
Canada, Vietnam and South Africa are
performing particularly well.
“We’ve added further dates to our Indian
programme to keep up with demand; the
same for Kenya and South Africa. We’ve also
added beach extensions to some tours,”
says Head of Trade Sales, Richard Forde.
“We’ve released 2021 dates earlier than ever
and customers are booking further ahead.”
New, longer-haul destinations are also
trending for Saga driven, Powell believes,
by both a change in client mind-set and the
weaker pound against the Euro. Significant
demand for India and Uzbekistan has been
sparked by TV coverage the last year.
Croatia, Italy and Scandinavia are selling
well for Leger and it has over 25 new breaks
for 2020. Also doing well are Romania and
Greece, perhaps perceived as less pricey
than other Eurozone countries, and longerhaul
Costa Rica and Peru, fitting the more
adventurous mature market trend.
Tricks for the trade
“The main thing we’re always talking
to agents about is how exciting this
demographic should be for them,” says
Saga’s Powell, pointing out that baby
boomers typically have greater disposable
income and time to travel.
“It’s important agents recognise how
the average 60-year-old has changed in
the last 20 or 30 years,” he adds. “These
guests are willing to research their holidays
extensively and they’re comfortable
shopping around, but they value service
and reliability above everything else - price
often isn’t the determining factor.”
With over-55s the second biggest users of
Facebook, Powell encourages agents not to
overlook social media for marketing. “They
are engaged with it and can be influenced
heavily by trends online and on television –
use this to your advantage!” he says.
Riviera’s Morgan points out escorted
tours and river cruises are easy, good value
sells, which meet the mature market’s
desire for stress-free holidays. He adds:
“There’s no hassle for agents and the all-in
nature means it’s good for commission.”
Newmarket’s Forde recommends agents
keep up with mature travel trends by asking
operators what is currently selling well; “it
may be something you had not thought of”.
It’s a case of recognising the value of, and
embracing, this market.
A huge thank you!
We’re delighted to be finalists in the following Selling Travel Agents
Choice Awards 2019...
Tour Operator for Short Haul Escorted Tours
Ocean Cruising – short haul
It’s fingers crossed for now, but one thing’s already certain…
we’re looking forward to working with our current agents,
and hopefully many more, in the weeks and months to come.
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
OVER 50s TRAVEL
TALKING TO... TITAN TRAVEL
“TV is a big influence. Celebs
give others the confidence to
be adventurous, whatever
age they are”
A decade ago there was a stigma that
over-50s travel was limited to coach trips
to Europe, but since then we’ve opened the
door to so many far-flung destinations around the
world that weren’t previoulsy easily accessible.
At Titan we exclusively cater for the over-50s
market so we know just how diverse this sector is.
It’s important to remember that, regardless of age,
everyone is an individual and they all want different
things from their holiday.
Small group tours continue to be popular for us. A
great example is our recently-added Wild Collection,
which includes Wild Costa Rica and Wild Borneo.
These itineraries can be slightly more adventurous.
On the flip side we’re also seeing demand for
relaxing week-long river cruises through Europe, so
it’s all about catering to different needs.
India’s Golden Triangle goes from strength to
strength, especially when it comes to trade bookings.
Orangutans in Borneo
BEN DAVIS,HEAD OF
YEARS IN THE
(Helps that my wife
speaks Italian too!)
Leaving my Passport
at LHR when flying
to Edinburgh with my
I think it’s one of those bucket list destinations that
people are a bit hesitant about booking for fear of
the unknown. That’s why they choose to go with a
reputable operator such as Titan, which has been
travelling there for decades. Guests feel safe in the
knowledge that they will be transfered door-to-door
with our VIP service and looked after by experts.
We’ve also noticed how TV has had a huge influence
on bookings to long-haul destinations. For example,
The Real Marrigold Hotel TV series built up a huge
demand for India and we’re capitalising on that
with new itineraries. There’s been an increase in
travel to Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan thanks
to Joanna Lumely’s Silk Road Adventure; Borneo is
doing really well following the Wild Borneo Adventure
documentary with Judy Dench, and anything that
Jane McDonald touches seems to turns to gold! I think
these celebrities give others the confidence to be
more adventurous, whatever age they are.
Here’s what you didn’t know
Agents are surprised about how diverse Titan's
product is and we want to remind them about our
more relaxed Stay and Explore option – a one or twocentre
trip with three or four nights in each place.
We’re also the only company that operate these tours
in the UK. Clients are picked up from their front door
and driven to and from their hotel, with the option of
In other news, we’re excited to have Zimbabwe back
in our portfolio, since it has been off the travel map for
about 25 years. Our 14-day escorted tour to Zimbabwe
is a small group journey, with a cruise on Lake Kariba,
a visit to Victoria Falls and a game drive in Hwange
National Park. In comparison to South
Africa, Zimbabwe is very much unspoilt and
the game has been left mostly untouched.
30 Sep 2019 *
From Scotland to Sicily, find your customers their perfect
short-haul escorted holiday in our brand-new brochure. As well
as our diverse selection of European itineraries, you’ll find UK
short breaks and a range of festive getaways over Christmas.
• VIP door-to-door travel service †
• Fly from an airport near you**
• Price Promise
• Guaranteed departures
Book online at www.titanagents.co.uk
*£99pp deposit is available on the majority of Titan’s European and
river cruise holidays. †Mainland UK only. **Supplements may apply
007763-TT Untitled-2 1Selling Travel.indd 1 19/08/2019 16/08/2019 08:12 16:22
OVER 50s TRAVEL
TOP SELLERS & NEW PRODUCT
The nine-day Jordan Discovery trip from
Explore is proving a top seller for the over-
50s. Clients can float in the salty waters of
the Dead Sea, explore the lost city of Petra
and enjoy a desert campfire at Wadi Rum.
New for summer 2020 is
Inghams' Secrets of Sardinia
tour. With departure dates
from May to September, the
seven-night trip includes
a walking tour of the coast
and a visit to Bosa (pictured),
known as one of Italy’s most
MEMPHIS, NEW ORLEANS &
Popular with Newmarket’s music-loving
customers is the Elvis Presley’s Memphis,
New Orleans & Nashville tour, which journeys
through America’s musical heartland, from
the birthplace of Jazz and the cradle of Rock
‘n’ Roll to the capital of Country Music.
The new 13-day Hawai’ian Islands
Discovery trip from Titan hops
between Maui, Big Island and Oahu
for a taste of tropical island life.
Clients will uncover a poignant piece
of USA history at Pearl Harbor and
enjoy postcard-perfect beaches and
volcanic parks. titantravel.co.uk
Kirker Holidays has introduced
Cultural Wine Tours, initially
to the wine regions of Reims
& Champagne in France and
Rioja and Northern Spain.
Clients join expert Tim
Clarke in visiting Bollinger
and Tattinger, with tutored
tastings. Kirker hopes to add
more destinations, including
OVER 50s TRAVEL 83
Christmas in Marrakech forms part of Just You’s Solo Festive
Breaks portfolio. The eight-day trip includes a tour of the
markets of Djemaa el Fna Square, a visit to Asni with lunch at an
authentic Moroccan retreat surrounded by the Atlas Mountains
and a stop at Ourika Valley with lunch in a hilltop restaurant.
SPAIN & PORTUGAL
Launched in 2018, Leger’s Luxuria Signature collection
includes the Paradors & Pousadas of Castile, Madrid,
Salamanca & Portugal. From the capital of Madrid to the
Golden City of Salamanca, the tour focuses on historical
architecture with lavish accommodation in some of
Spain’s finest Paradors and Portugal’s idyllic Pousadas.
Saga’s new nine-day tour, The Pearl of the Middle East,
explores the history and modern regeneration of Lebanon.
This modern country is now bouncing back after years
of conflict and the tour showcases highlights such as
the Cedars of God Forest; Sidon, with its sea castle and
souks; and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tyre, which has
Phoenician and Roman archaeological influences. saga.co.uk
The 'gentle walking specialist' Adagio has
launched its new 2020 brochure, with 37
different options. New additions include
a trip to the UK's most northerly outpost,
the Shetland Islands, known for their
rugged coastline and rolling hills, ancient
history and wildlife including many sea
JAMAICA SAINT LUCIA ANTIGUA BAHAMAS GRENADA BARBADOS
BOOK THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
FOR TRAVEL UP TO AUGUST 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
Call Agency Sales 020 7590 0210 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Visit sellingsandals.co.uk
OR TO BOOK
Call 0808 164 3459 | Visit sandals.co.uk/agents
2 0 1 8
Book by 30 Sep ’19. Terms & conditions apply – contact us for full details.
23 Years Running
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