Bawah Island lies in the heart of the Indonesian Anambas, just three hours from Singapore by ferry, and it’s opening its doors for the first time to guests this year.
A marine conservation area, a maximum of 70 guests are allowed at any one time, with 35 eco-designed suites and overwater bungalows providing guests with a private oasis.
The Tree Top restaurant at Bawah will serve bespoke Asian-fusion cuisine with locally-grown ingredients alongside a curated drinks menu to showcase authentic flavours.
Participants at the Experience Aloha Business Exchange experienced a full day of exploring on Hawaii’s Big Island, including a farm tour, waterfall swim and a visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The park is home to the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa active volcanoes.
After a morning tour of OK Farms in Hilo, home to macadamia, coffee and fruit trees, the group cooled off with a swim under a waterfall, which has exclusive access for bed and breakfast guests.
Micro-adventure is the new buzz term for millennial travellers, says Marie-Louise Kellet, of Cape Town-based Gravity Adventures.
Speaking at an Indaba seminar, showcasing award winning tourism operators, Kellet described how the company has deliberately developed shorter, fun adventure activities to appeal to younger travellers, as well as families.
‘We offer new micro adventures such as ‘coasteering’, at Simons Town, 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. It’s canyoning on the coast; snorkelling, swimming through kelp, jumping off rocks, it’s like behaving like a child for two hours!
Changing peoples’ perceptions about Soweto is something that drives Phineas Zwane, tour guide for Johannesburg’s Kgokare Tours.
Hosting a pre-Indaba tour that took in community culture and the gritty history at the heart of modern South Africa, he says every city in the world has bad areas.
‘There are four million people in Soweto today. It is very diverse with both rich and poor people. Yes there are areas where you should be careful, just as there are risky areas in every city. For visitors there is so much to see and enjoy in Soweto.’
Remember the sleepy Asian villages of some 20 years ago? They still exist. Trish Freeman joined some Kiwi travel agents who were lucky enough to ‘step back in time’ in laid-back Laos.
Hugging the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, the northern resort town of Luang Prabang was the highlight of a Wendy Wu Tours-Singapore Airlines famil to the destination earlier this year.
From offering alms to the monks, cruising the Mekong, heading inland to waterfalls, sampling Mekong whisky and leisurely retail therapy at a craft village, the agents discovered that Laos caters to all travellers. Rising at dawn to see the procession of monks proved so enjoyable for Andrew Kemp, House of Travel Timaru, and Davy Chen, Flight Centre Mt Eden, that they did it again the following day, while the
From wrecks to birds and surf to history, Kathy Ombler reveals why she was won by the natural charm – and beauty – of the Solomon Islands
Niches of the natural world, not large, swanky resorts, are the drawcards of the Solomon Islands. Therein lies the appeal. Nothing is contrived. Visitors can join the locals fishing, diving, snorkelling or surfing, all of which are world class. And wherever they stay (there are several levels of choice), they will also engage with the locals.
In capital and international gateway, Honiara, several larger, business or resort-style hotels are handy for stopovers. However, the true essence of the Solomon Islands is found in the outer islands. Getting to them is easy – with Solomon Air’s domestic fleet serving 19 destinations out of Honiara.
One of India’s greatest love stories was brought to life for three Kiwi travel agents recently when they visited one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The story of Moghul emperor Shah Jahan’s intense grief after the death of his wife, and subsequent construction of her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal, was told by Total Holiday Options guide Ashutosh Sharma on the lawns of India’s most famous monument.
‘Visiting the Taj was quite emotional,’ explains Vanessa Brocklehurst from helloworld Thames. ‘Ashutosh really knew his stuff and hearing the story while at the Taj means it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
New Caledonia’s slumping nickel industry has forced the inhabitants to come together to mine an economic future in tourism – and now the movement is gaining ground. Lisa Bradley reports.
Attendees at this year’s Rendez-vous in New Caledonia were bussed past four smokeless chimneys of Noumea’s nickel smelter en route to the magnificent US$70 million Jean-Marie Tjiboau Culture Centre.
There seemed no better symbolic illustration that the economic crown of this French-speaking nation is firmly passing from the troubled mining industry to tourism.
Further proof the hearts and minds of New Caledonians have turned to its fledging inbound market came from the around 60 workshop exhibitors, many of whom were just as animated talking about the changing face of the country as they were selling their wares.
We’re happier in Apia, the Samoan Minister of Tourism, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, declared when opening the country’s annual tourism exchange in April. Lisa Bradley was on hand to discover the island nation certainly does have a lot to smile about
Samoa is gathering momentum in its endeavours to become a key tourism player in the South Pacific.
That was the message that came from the 9th Samoan Tourism Exchange, which was attended by almost 60 buyers from 12 to 15 April.
The contingency – from New Zealand, Australia, UK, Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, USA, Fiji and American Samoa – met with about 45 exhibitors. While there they learnt more than 300 rooms are coming online this year, the airport and Port in Apia are being redeveloped and a commitment has been made to deliver a standardised high standard on housekeeping and food and beverage.
Lisa Bradley finds that in the hunt for the stereotypical Borneo experience, the real Malaysia can be found in the charm of its people and the unexpected adventures you encounter along the way
Serendipity is a wondrous thing. Just hours before getting to the airport to board AirAsia X’s new flight to the Gold Coast and Malaysia, an advert for the airline sparked up on the car radio exclaiming Kiwis could at last enjoy a service which has been saving Australians money for years.
But I was thinking of another ‘S’ word as I hustled to get ready for the flight – simians… or, more to the point, orangutans.
I have not always had a successful history with primates, after been spooked by a gorilla as a kid at Wellington Zoo and attacked for fruit by monkeys in India. But pot-bellied, fringed-haired armed orangutans are another matter entirely; these creatures I was looking forward to seeing during a short stint in Sabah, the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo.
The Philippines has taken tourism by the tail, declaring 2016 as its year. Aleisha Moore puts a spotlight on the country’s new direction, and what it has to offer.
The Philippines has been touted as one of the top destinations to visit in 2016, and Kiwi travellers now have more time to explore the nation’s 7107 islands with Philippine Airlines’ new flights between Auckland and Manila.
Ramon Jimenez, Philippines secretary of tourism, says the country has entered a new era in tourism marked by strong growth and potential.
‘Getting tourism recognised as on of the sectors at the top of the national economic agenda is certainly a huge feat. Today, Philippines’ tourism industry is the 5th growth driver of the country’s economy.’