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.
Post Brexit devaluation and new hotels adding to the bed bank have combined to reduce the cost of a visit to London and the rest of the United Kingdom by 30% compared to a year ago.
Frances Wyatt, London based director of sales and marketing with Spectra, says the company’s First Class London five night incentive programme cost the equivalent of NZ$4180 last year but is now priced at $3325 – a tangible example of the value to be had.
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.
Madrid will host the largest global event for the LGBT community, World Pride 2017, later this year.
Madrid Pride is already one of the city’s best known festivals, open to the LGBT community as well as anyone who wants to hit the streets to celebrate, demonstrate and demand diversity. Attendance grows each year – roughly 1.5 million people gathered in the capital in the 2016 edition to take part in this big celebration, which has become a major event for the entire city.
Lisbon and Sintra, close to Portugal’s main airport, is the country’s most visited region.
Not surprisingly, Lisbon is the starting point for a number of tours including A Walker’s World’s most popular Portuguese walk, Lisbon & Sintra eight day self-guided tour.
A Walker’s World director Jill Grant says the itinerary starts in the ‘swish, charming coastal village of Cascais’ - a short train ride from Lisbon and where Portugal’s most expensive real estate can be found.
A growth of 26% in visitor arrivals, albeit from a small base, last year has prompted Air Mauritius and the country’s tourism board to draw up a plan to engage more with travel agents in New Zealand in 2017.
James Blake, regional manager Australia and New Zealand with Air Mauritius says the airline will launch a new trade website in the first half of March and is also keen to get Kiwi agents on famils to the destination for the first time.
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