Trying out the local meals are a must do on most trips abroad and Insight Vacations’ new 2018 Europe Premium Escorted Journeys program offers a host of authentic dining experiences.
‘These authentic meals are specially curated so travellers not only enjoy a beautifully prepared dish, but also learn the culture and history behind it, and the wonderful companionship the whole way through,’ says Ulla Hefel
South African Airways have reduced regional flight schedules between Johannesburg and some African countries.
The changes reflect demand on affected routes as well as the airline’s desire to maximise efficiencies across its network and to return to profitability as soon as possible.
No intercontinental routes are impacted by the announcement with the changes taking effect from the end of September finalising in November 2017.
Back-Roads Touring has recently launched its most significant offering yet – 50 2018 itineraries, with new additions such as Madeira, Malta and a Battle of Britain itinerary.
For foodies, the Cornwall Food Tour promises a culinary adventure, including lunch at Rick Stein’s restaurant and a cooking demonstration at the renowned Fat Hen. Clients can unlock the secrets of Madeira as they sample wine and cruise the Funchal Bay in the Madeira Highlights Tour, or explore some of Italy’s historical islands by boat in the Sail the Bay of Naples tour. Other new tours include Iceland Highlights, Champagne and Great War Cruise, a Dubai stopover and more. Back-Roads Touring reports guests can save up to $720 per couple on all 2018 tours with its early bird special, available until 15 January 2018.
Pangolin Photo Safaris bought a houseboat in 2015, in a move to provide accommodation for clients who have booked one of the company’s photo safaris.
The houseboat has five rooms, ideal for small groups or FIT travellers.
On top of the houseboat, it is opening a lodge in July 2018. Toby Jermyn, Pangolin Photo Safaris, says the lodge is in response to travellers not wanting to stay in hotels.
A group of travel agents from New Zealand recently went on an action-packed visit around Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Qatar Airways.
The trip was a good opportunity to highlight ease of access to Ireland from New Zealand, with Qatar Airways via Doha.
The group’s itinerary included the Guinness Storehouse, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren Perfumery, Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre, the Irish National Stud & Gardens and Powerscourt House & Gardens.
While summer continues to be the most popular travel period to Switzerland, more travellers are discovering that a Swiss winter holiday is appealing and eventful.
Switzerland Tourism points out that the colder months transform the country into an ‘icy wonderland’, bringing out different characteristics and personalities of the country.
Christmas Markets from Zurich (home to Europe's largest indoor Christmas market), to Basel (where fairy-tale dollars are used as legal tender in the markets), and Montreux (the gateway to Santa Claus' Swiss abode atop
Monaco recently had the second edition of TEDxMonteCarlo, putting innovation at the core of its strategy.
Themed ‘License to Know’, this year’s TEDxMonteCarlo was held at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum.
Over 16 speakers from around the world shared their passion and new ideas on a range of front-page topics such as entrepreneurship, safety, security and transparency.
Switzerland Tourism has announced the opening of AQUATIS, the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe.
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva (the largest body of freshwater in Western Europe), in the historical town of Lausanne, the project was 15 years in the making. Spread over two levels and with 3,500sqm dedicated to
Kiwi-born Andy Kibby - the founder of Kenyan based The Safari Company - has struck a chord with older kiwis seeking African adventures, says New Zealand representative Innovative Travel.
An extra departure was added for 2018 for the most popular 31-day Gorillas, Gameparks & Beaches tour, which starts in Kampala and ends in Zanzibar.
The first tour departing on 29 July is sold out, nine months ahead of departure.
British Airways has become the first airline worldwide to introduce high-tech remote-controlled devices to push back aircraft across its short-haul operation.
In partnership with Heathrow Airport, the eco-friendly Mototok tugs will give British Airways staff the tools to prepare aircraft for departure more efficiently.
Travellers mixing business travel and leisure are one of the growing markets for Trafalgar’s expanding Explorer series, Gavin Tollman, the operator’s chief executive.
The latest Rail in Britain brochure was handed out to agents at the Great Train Journeys trade function in Auckland late August.
A new feature is an M-Pass version of the BritRail England Pass. This enables clients to use the pass via their mobile phone.
It is now over six years since Egypt’s initial uprising and the destination has moved on with its new constitution now in place, a leading travel expert advises.
The new constitution has resulted in over 80 female Members of Parliament, along with many other positive changes.
Innovative Travel Cairo-based director, Elhamy ElZayat was in Christchurch recently with the latest Egyptian updates at a trade and consumer evening.
Scenic has an array of travel incentives to mark the release of its Grand Wonders of Europe 2018 brochure, offering savings of up to $4000 per couple on selected bookings. The Grand Wonders of Europe 2018 brochure features 15 itineraries ranging in length from nine to 23 days, plus city stays.
Cycle Europe / A Walker’s World is close to releasing its Bike, Boat and Barge brochure for 2018. Among the new offerings is a Holland Meets Germany By Bike & Boat itinerary. Director Jill Grant says this easy cycle tour takes a meandering scenic course over a week between Rotterdam and Cologne and vice versa.
Tempo Holidays has launched a new package for travellers to Greece. Consisting of superior accommodation, comprehensive sightseeing and added extras to suit the requirements of the signature range, this independent package begins in mainland Greece, Athens.
Bentours has announced 2018/19 dates for the Northern Lights. Bentours’ small group escorted tour, Follow The Lights, will include 28 new departure dates across OctDec 2018 and Jan-Mar 2019, and will build upon feedback from the previous season.
Robyn Galloway of Innovative Travel says travelling through East Africa with The Safari Company recently exceeded all of her expectations. The safari was hosted by New Zealand born Andy Kibby. ‘The gorilla trekking in Volcano Park Rwanda was an incredible highlight. It was amazing to be within a metre of the gorilla families,’ says Galloway. ‘Groups are limited to eight at a time and there is the opportunity to spend an hour close to one family.
Agents have a new opportunity to promote Europe to keen walkers and others looking for soft adventure, says Jill Grant of A Walker’s World. Grant recently sampled a small section of Switzerland’s Via Alpina, which crosses the backbone of the country from west to east. It links up with the long distance hiking network of the same name that starts in Monaco on the Cote d’Azur and ends in Trieste, Italy after traversing eight alpine countries - France, Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
It’s not all about the ‘Big Five’ – and a stay at a game lodge doesn’t have to break the bank. These were the key messages from two operators, speaking at an Indaba seminar, showcasing award winning tourism companies.
South Africa is well known for its luxury game lodges, where the rate can be up to $2000 per night.
In contrast Denis Goffinet, of Needles Safari Lodge, near Kruger, says he targets the middle income bracket looking for an affordable African safari.
Because the Castilian city of Madrid caters more for the Spanish than tourists, it’s attractions for visitors are a little less obvious, according to Caitlin Cantor, expat Canadian and tour guide with Devour Madrid.
Cantor reveals the core of Madrid during evening walking tours, throughout central Madrid’s network of plazas and neighbourhoods.
Between the ‘best Iberian ham in Spain’ at the Royal Tavern, (accompanied by red vermouth flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel) and the ‘best mushroom tapas in Madrid’ at Meson del Champinon (eaten with a summer red wine and sweetened soda
Since the 820s, when the tomb of St James the Apostle (Santiago in Spanish) was discovered in Spain’s Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims have made their way on foot to the mythical city.
The end point is the Cathedral of Santiago and pilgrims start arriving daily from mid-morning, having walked an average of 25km a day – some for months, others for a few days – to earn a certificate (compostela) proving they have completed at least 100kms of the Way of St James or Camino de Santiago.
Soaring Australasian and American visitor numbers have helped Ireland offset the negative effects Brexit may have had on British tourism figures.
Australasian visitor numbers to Ireland are up 16% for January to March 2017, while there was a 23% growth spurt from the American market during the same period. These numbers have helped boost Tourism Ireland’s overall number of tourists by 1%.
However, the destination noted a 6.5% fall in British visitor numbers.
Camaraderie and a shared love of rugby was on the menu at an Irish tourism lunch attended by around 20 people in Auckland on Friday. Tourism Ireland New Zealand welcomed Irish Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan to the country with the luncheon attended by their Australian peers as well as representatives from the Consulate General of Ireland in New Zealand, the tourism trade and airlines.
The minister was on a visit to New Zealand and Australia to muster support for Ireland’s tourism industry and the country’s bid for the 2023 World Cup.
The growing popularity of Spain and the ease of combining the country with other destinations has encouraged The Innovative Travel Company to launch three new Spain-orientated programmes in its Ancient Kingdoms Holidays schedule.
Anthony Fau, Innovative’s international manager, says that troubles in some parts of the Middle East and Europe have also sparked interest and travel to Spain.
France’s Western Front historic sites were promoted to the travel trade last week when the French Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance, Jean-Marc Todeschini visited New Zealand.
With Armistice Day celebrated just days ago on 11 November, interest in the site remains strong especially from Kiwis who recognise that 25% of all New Zealanders killed during WW1 are still buried in France.
The French Tourism Office, ATOUT France, has appointed New Zealand’s Regency Tourism Marketing to assist in the distribution of Remembrance Tourism Sites Sales Manual, to encourage Kiwis to visit the many