Bike Boat & Barge tours in Netherlands and Belgium will start the tour season on 17 June 2020, reports A Walker’s World / Cycling Europe. ‘In the Netherlands, the Covid-19 crisis is under control and from 1 June the lockdown will be lifted. From this date, places such as restaurants, cafes, attractions, museums and shops will open again, as well as harbours and waterways,’ says Cycling Europe’s managing director Jill Grant.
Greece is preparing to open the country’s borders and is working towards a soft opening in June, with some islands also scheduled to reopen on 30 June, Innovative Travel is informing agents.
Tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus from 15 June.
The choice means the 14-day quarantine will not be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavík International Airport.
Switzerland Tourism is launching a series of live webinars for travel agents, starting 19 May, with spot prizes up for grabs. Agents will be able to hear from and interact with partners from Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Interlaken, the Jungfrau Regions and Jungfrau Railways, the Schilthorn (aka James Bond Mountain), Zermatt and the Swiss Travel System.
Agents will hear about product updates and new developments, plus crucial advice on Switzerland's recovery plan over the next couple of years. Register here.
The United Kingdom’s early response (or lack of) to Covid-19 is unlikely to damage its reputation as a holiday destination in the medium to long term, says Australian-based Carolyn Childs, chief executive officer of My Travel Experience.
‘The UK had already done quite a bit of damage to its brand around the handling of Brexit,’ said Childs as part of the ongoing Keeping the Dream Alive series of webinars. ‘Visit Britain had tried to minimise that and I
Exotic Holidays is promoting Fez Tours for Turkey in 2021 and offering 10% discount for bookings made before 30 June, for tours starting 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
Popular tours include an eight-day Aegean Delight Tour, priced from $1589 per person, twin share. It starts and ends in Istanbul and highlights include the battlefields at Gallipoli and Pamukkaale’s white terraces.
Ireland is giving agents and clients the chance to discover the island’s great whiskeys from the comfort of their armchair.
Irish whiskey has undergone a huge renaissance over the last decade. New arrivals from distilleries like Slane, Dingle, Walsh and Echlinville stand beside centuries-old favourites like Bushmills, Jameson, Teeling and Tullamore D.E.W.
IrishWhiskey360° https://irishwhiskey360.com demonstrates the importance of the master distillers, who combine quality Irish ingredients and a variety of cask finishing to create new flavours.
Last year, 17 distilleries on the island of Ireland welcomed more than one million visitors for tours that give a behind-the-scenes insight into their products. While visits are not currently possible, people can still discover the stories of Ireland’s whiskies on websites and through virtual tours.
Agents are invited to join special ANZAC Day reflections on the ANZAC Campaign at Gallipoli, hosted by Robyn Galloway, founder of Innovative Travel and chair of the NZ Turkey Business Council.
Reflecting on the lonely Gallipoli Peninsula, the video will be released on Saturday afternoon at 3pm to coincide with dawn at Gallipoli. It will be released on the Innovative Travel YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Cycling Europe / A Walker’s World is getting product ready for next year, earlier than usual to allow the smooth transition of postponements for this year’s bookings to next year, says the company’s director Jill Grant.
Fez Tours, represented here by Exotic Holidays, has come up with a number of options for clients who are booked but no longer able to travel to Turkey over ANZAC Day. Along with travel restrictions around the world, ANZAC Day events such as the Dawn Service at Gallipoli will be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Adventure World Travel has announced the launch of a tailormade Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltics portfolio. The Scandinavia collection will be the first of the range to be released in late November with Russia and the Baltics available in mid-2020. Adventure World Travel has been preparing the Scandinavia portfolio over the past five months but has brought forward the release due to demand from agents following the recent Bentours collapse. Neil Rodgers, managing director of Adventure World Travel, says AWT made the decision in early 2019 that these countries were a natural progression for the brand. The portfolio will launch with itineraries in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Greenland. In addition to Adventure World Travel’s tailormade offering the collection will also showcase small group journey GSAs, such as Explore Worldwide’s boutique Yurt accommodation in Iceland and Natural Habitat’s luxury Greenland basecamp. Good rates in Scandinavia have been leveraged through the strong relationships and buying power of The Travel Corporation. In the ocean expedition category Adventure World Travel will continue its existing exclusive partnership with Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic plus a new strategic partnership with Hurtigruten.
Mary McBride’s Bar, in Cushendun, County Antrim reports that about 1000 people a week are now coming through its doors as a direct result of Game of Thrones – and 75% of them buy a drink or something to eat while they are there.
If a single installation has led to the resurgence of Belfast as a tourism destination it is The Titanic Experience, a museum that traces the building, launch, sinking, immediate aftermath and later search for the world’s most famous ship.
Belfast is continuing to establish itself as a ‘new capital’ for tourism in Europe, with recently opened (and soon to open) hotels, and a raft of added attractions. Leading the way in new reasons to visit are some 25 visitor experiences directly linked to the Game of Thrones TV series – including 10 doors marking scenes from the saga, six stained glass installations, and a massive Game of Thrones tapestry. These are all added to the various natural and historical sites used in the show around Northern Ireland, plus the Touring Exhibition which is in the city until 1 September.
Catherine Gray, media visits coordinator with Tourism Northern Ireland, says more is to come. The Linen Mill Studios, in Bainbridge will open a Game of Thrones Studio Tour in the spring of 2020. It will showcase authentic sets, costumes and props from all seasons of the hit series. ‘Our top attractions are the Titanic Museum and the Giant’s Causeway, but Game of Thrones has given us another high profile reason to visit,’ she says. Gray says her message to travel agents is that Northern Ireland can be promoted as a small, compact and easy to reach destination, just two hours drive from Dublin. ‘Belfast has its various locations, like the Cathedral Quarter, Linen Quarter and Titanic Quarter. But just a 20 minute drive from Belfast gets people into the countryside.’
By Stu Freeman
New Zealand agents and brokers will be able to get insights of the ‘latest and greatest’ things to see and do in Russia and the surrounding region when one of the destination’s leading experts visits a number of regions later this month.
Giving clients tips like how to have an ‘Oktoberfest’ experience without the crowds, and where to find a medieval German town just half an hour from Frankfurt airport will provide travellers with a reason to re-look at the destination, says Michael Kater, managing director of Unique Germany.
Former Silver Ferns player and coach, Yvonne Willering will lead Williment’s ‘Liverpool Experience Tour’ in July 2019 which begins in Edinburgh, travels through the north of England and down to Liverpool where the tournament will be held.
Sports tours hosted by well-known Kiwi athletes are at the core of the Williment brand explains product manager Philip Mazey.’Travelling is always a bonding experience for a tour group and particularly for sports
Cruising onboard a traditional sailing vessel and discovering by bike unknown byways and villages, are two of the best ways to explore the Croatian coast and islands of Dalmatia according to A Walker’s World.
The most popular section is between Dubrovnik and Split, two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Ships take around 30 passengers and are 25 to 30 metres, small enough to negotiate the narrow channels and tiny coves.
Cycling is on little used roads through olive groves, vineyards, and orchards past castle ruins, churches and small hamlets tucked in coves.
Switzerland Tourism is reminding agents who have not yet signed up to the 2018 Switzerland Travel Academy to do so before the end of the year and be in for chance to win one of three prizes valued at $500 each.
The simple e-learning programme equips agents with the necessary information, updates, tools and tips to help them sell and better assist their clients heading to Switzerland.
South Caucasus, encompassing the destinations of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, is among the new frontiers for New Zealand travellers, agents heard at roadshows around the country last week.
Fez Travel and GSA Exotic Holidays visited a number of centres, culminating in an Auckland presentation at dinner at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on Friday night.
Fez managing director Ekrem Usta says the company is seeing renewed interest in Egypt and Turkey, as well as having continued success in areas such as The Balkans. However, it is also seeing interest in Caucasus – a region that has an increased profile in the company’s 2019 brochure.