Derry-Londonderry has been designated a UN City of Peace.
The United Nations International City of Peace programme acknowledges cities worldwide that have demonstrated outstanding efforts in fostering peace, tolerance, and cooperation among their diverse communities. Derry-Londonderry’s transformation into a symbol of peace is a testament to the city’s resilience and dedication to moving on from the past.
Over the years, the city has made tremendous progress in bridging divides, fostering dialogue, and nurturing a culture of understanding among its citizens.
Derry-Londonderry is a cosmopolitan, creative city steeped in history. The hit TV series ‘Derry Girls’ has captivated audiences worldwide. Set against the backdrop of the city’s tumultuous history, it highlights the resilience of the people of Derry-Londonderry.
Some of the city’s most compelling events can be explored through a collection of museums, including the Siege Museum, the Museum of Free Derry and the Tower Museum.
Guided tours such as the Free Derry Tour and the Bogside History Tour are ideal for explaining the history of the area.
Derry-Londonderry’s Peace Bridge stands as a symbol of the city’s determination to bring people together.
The ancient city walls, dating back to the 17th century, are the only fully intact city walls in Ireland. They provide a glimpse into the city’s past, offering panoramic views of the cityscape and the River Foyle.
Innovative Travel’s MD, Robyn Galloway, has just completed an Innovative Travel eight-day Unforgettable Ireland coach tour and says tourism on the island is buoyant.
Having experienced the product first hand, Galloway assures agents that it is an easy sell.
Cycling Europe has released a collection of 43 Bike & Barge or Bike & Boat routes in 16 countries for 2024. All tours are a week long except the 15-day Danube Six Country tour that travels beyond Austria and Hungary to Croatia, Serbia and Romania. All vessels offer ebike options and meals are included.
Rail Online is offering travel agents an expanded range of B2B Trenitalia fares delivering price reductions of up to 70% off high-speed Frecce journeys, discounts of up to 60% for groups of three-to-five people, and 50% rate cuts when two people travel as a pair.
The Spain Tourism Board is currently giving New Zealand travel agents the chance to win a Spanish-themed prize each quarter.
Agents need to register themselves on the Spain Specialist Program website and start one of the four learning modules. They will then be in the running to win a range of prizes, from Spanish wines to gift cards for mouth-watering Spanish restaurants across the country. The first quarter prize winner will be announced on 31 August 2023.
Rail Europe has added Switzerland’s Berner Oberland Pass to its B2B website and API.
A regional pass that complements the Swiss Travel Pass and with validities ranging from three, four, six, eight to 10 consecutive days between 1 April and 31 October, the Berner Oberland Pass includes unlimited travel within the Bernese Oberland region. It gives access to more than 25 mountain excursions and cable car rides; and up to 50% discount on numerous other mountain railways in the region.
Wendy Wu Tours will add the Dawn Ceremony at Gallipoli as an option for New Zealand and Australian travellers in 2024.
Managing director Paul Dymond says people attending the service will then go onto the Treasures of Turkey tour that the company recently launched.
The Swiss panoramic train journeys of the Glacier Express and Bernina Express are now available on Rail Europe’s B2B websites and via its API.
Rail Europe’s GM of APAC, Richard Leonard, says that post pandemic, Switzerland has emerged as a top mono European destination to explore.
Phenomenal demand for Europe through travel agents does not look like abating any time soon, according to a specialist in the market.
Jay Soysa, product and reservations manager of Orton International, says that while this is obviously pleasing another ongoing trend continues to add pressure on the trade.
New Zealand travel agents can expect increased ‘love, care and attention’ from Rail Europe this year as the company plans a number of visits to the market, targeted webinars and new trade friendly booking and procurement features.
Rail Europe will also be launching a fresh new brand at ITB in Berlin next week. Full details will be released then.
Agents are being urged to get in quick if they have clients interested in attending the Monaco Grand Prix in 2024.
‘New Zealand is a few steps behind Australia, which is almost back to pre-pandemic numbers for us,’ says Alison Roberts-Brown, regional director for Visit Monaco. ‘However New Zealand is coming back, there is definitely interest here.
European self-guided walk operator, On Foot Holidays, has launched a new hiking route in the wine region of Galicia in north-west Spain.
Hikers stay in historic inns and a former monastery and explore gorges, ancient citadels, medieval hamlets, and terraced vineyards established by monks in the Dark Ages.
Back-Roads Touring has launched its 2023 ‘Save Your Seat’ sale offering a $275 per person discount on a range of trips to the UK and Europe departing in 2023.
The discount is available on new bookings made between Wednesday, 12 October until Wednesday, 23 November, on select departures (excluding all trips departing in May and September 2023).
The just released Cycling Europe’s 2023 Bike Boat & Barge brochure offers 41 routes in 14 different countries.
The company’s director, Jill Grant says the programme allows clients to live aboard a traditional vessel and bike a well-researched route to places of interest each day before meeting their vessel in the afternoon at a new location.
Rugby enthusiasts in France next year can experience the Canal Entre Deux Mers between games, reports Jill Grant of A Walker’s World and Cycling Europe.
The first game kicks off in Paris on 8 September after which fans will be heading south to the city of Toulouse to catch the next NZ game on 15 September.
Agents should advise clients there is plenty to do in a 10 to 12-day stay in Switzerland, says Silvio Goetz, director Australia and New Zealand with Switzerland Tourism.
‘We are advising the trade to try to get people to stay longer, take it easy and see the smaller villages and rural areas, visit local craftsmen and really get into the mountains and lake areas.’
Innovative travel has signed a GSA agreement with Ireland’s BUNK campervan rentals, the latest step in the company’s expanding Irish product portfolio.
‘A lot of New Zealanders went out and bought campervans during Covid and that has rekindled people’s love for this sort of travel,’ says Robyn Galloway, managing director of Innovative Travel. ‘It is also an ideal way to see Ireland, get off the beaten track and discover the smaller towns and villages.’
Paris Region will have a high profile at the French Travel Workshop next month.
Organised by Atout France, the French Tourist Bureau, the event is being held on Friday 9 September at Sofitel Auckland.
The soon-to-be-released Bike Boat & Barge brochure from Cycling Europe will feature new tours in Champagne, France and the Moselle region of Germany.
During a 15-day circuit tour of the Champagne region, guests board a traditional barge and cruise downstream past the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Paris then embark on daily rides across the vineyards on the banks of the Marne.
The Switzerland Travel Experience Roadshow is back in New Zealand mid-September.
Nine key partners from Switzerland will be joining Livio Goetz and Birgit Weingartner from Switzerland Tourism ANZ on a visit to Auckland and Christchurch, where they will meet with key industry partners, travel advisors and local media.
Trenitalia and the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) have new initiatives to enhance inter-city train travel and help promote some of the country’s key tourist attractions and destinations.
Early bird savings are available on a selection of 2023 tours in the UK and Ireland with Worldwide Caravan & Motorhome Holidays. Clients can save up to $1,200 per couple for any new bookings made by 31 August 2022.
Bike Boat and Barge 2023 options from A Walker’s World/Cycling Europe are steadily becoming available in New Zealand and director Jill Grant says there has been good uptake already.
Grant says the 15-day Danube Bike & Boat tour is one she is highlighting now. It rolls through six European countries – Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria – to the fjord-like canyons of the Iron Gates National Park in Serbia.
Having recently experienced an Aurora Expeditions cruise in the UK, World Journeys director Chris Lyons has written a blog about his journey to becoming a committed fan of cruising in remote regions.
‘Exploring wild places such as the Outer Hebrides, it was great to be able to go on Zodiac excursions with knowledgeable guides, and return to the warmth and comfort of the ship each evening,’ Lyons says. ‘The landscapes are wild and rugged, and the history is fascinating – from Neolithic ruins to the remnants of Viking settlements. The birdlife was prolific too, from the puffins, to enormous concentrations of gannets, guillemots, terns, cormorants and auks. ‘
There was a certain rugby game on the horizon, as emphasised by the venue for a Tourism Ireland travel trade breakfast in Auckland on Friday morning – The All Blacks Experience in the CBD.
Rugby banter aside, the event also served to emphasise Tourism Ireland’s latest consumer campaign – the Green Button, designed to drive business and strengthen travel intentions to the destination.
Cycle Europe has special offers on its Bike, Boat & Barge tours for June, July and August in France, Belgium and the Netherlands of between €100-200pp.
Director Jill Grant says the company is offering a €200 discount (approximately $340) on France Meets Belgium, a 14-day tour between Paris and Bruges for 25 June and 23 July.
Traditional 14 and 15-day coach touring is back for Turkey, says Innovative Travel MD Robyn Galloway.
‘Clients who may opt for independent travel in other destinations, often choose a coach tour in Turkey, as it is the simplest and most convenient style to explore this destination – four times the size of the UK,’ says Galloway.
Explore Worldwide has launched 11 new European adventures that show off highlights while also travelling slowly through lesser-known parts of Europe.
Many of the tours focus on using public transport with opportunities to explore on foot and really get under the skin of these beautiful destinations.
Europe’s travel and tourism sector is expected to create up to eight million new jobs within the next decade, says the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) latest Economic Impact Report (EIR).
The forecast from WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, also shows the sector will be a driving force behind Europe’s economic recovery, following more than two years of suffering.
A Walker’s World’s 12-day Apulia and Basilicata walk/cycle combo tour explores the best of Italy’s ‘heel in the boot’ during six days of semi-guided walking and six days self-guided cycling.
‘Having a local expert guide to interpret the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Sassi of Matera, Valle d’Itria and Alberobello, is a huge advantage and highlight of the tour,’ says A Walker’s World direct, Jill Grant.
The Emerald Isle has shown that is ready to once again to welcome Kiwis following the attendance at the Meet the Buyer trade event in Meitheal (Killarney) by Tourism Ireland’s NZ rep Darragh Walshe and Innovative Travel’s Robyn Galloway.
‘It was also important to show the Irish industry that New Zealand is now opening up again,’ says Walshe. ‘We were particularly happy to be able to host Robyn at the Meitheal event for the first time. Her enthusiasm for the breadth of product and the opportunities for the New Zealand market was plain to see – especially by the tourism board and government heads.
A Walker’s World is reporting steady interest from the trade as it releases its 2022 Europe digital brochure.
Director Jill Grant says the company’s product has always ticked the sustainability box and attracts clients who enjoy the outdoors and being active – all things that have come even more into their own after the last couple of years.
The Irish Government has ended almost all Covid-19 public health restrictions. Restaurants and bars can resume normal trading hours; and restrictions on indoor and outdoor events, including sporting fixtures, have been lifted.
Heritage Expeditions is offering an exclusive 10-day stay on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Circle. Up to five guests will be able to stay on this remote island during The Ultimate High Arctic Expedition in July 2022.
They will be guests of the rangers who man the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve, best-known as the polar bear denning capital of the world, as well as for having the largest population of Pacific walrus and a rich natural history.
Two week-long guided Bike & Barge tours in France are new for the 2022 season.
‘Heart of Alsace Lorraine’, between Strasbourg and Nancy, is where French and German cultures converge owing to the changing of borders between France and Germany, Cycling Europe’s managing dictor Jill Grant points out.
Cycling Europe reports that there has not been one single outbreak of Covid on any of its bike, boat and barge tours in Netherlands, Belgium and France this European season.
‘The thought, care and protocols put into the organisation of these cruises has paid off,’ says A Walker’s World / Cycling Europe managing director Jill Grant. ‘With some 100 plus tours and thousands of guests, this is a sound record of safety.’
A video of the protocols in place on these trips is on the Cycling Europe website so agents and clients can and see for themselves how the tours operate in the Covid era. CLICK HERE.
‘Small groups and natural social distancing while cycling are natural advantages. Looking to 2022, travellers can have great confidence booking these tours and the Bike Boat & Barge 2022 brochure is available now,’ says Grant.
For the brochure, CLICK HERE.
Cycling Europe has released its Bike Boat & Barge 2022 brochure.
It includes the Stunning Croatia by Bike & Boat itinerary – small group tours will now start and end on Fridays instead of Saturdays as they have previously.
‘This change takes advantage of emptier harbours, less traffic upon arrival and the general benefits for better logistical coordination of the tours,’ says Jill Grant, director of A Walker’s World and Cycling Europe.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is adding new ‘Nights Out’ evening experiences throughout Europe from 2022.
The five excursions are private offerings, showcasing top European cities in a new light.
These will be part of Uniworld’s all-inclusive itineraries. For 2023, ‘Nights Out’ excursions will be included on all of Uniworld’s European cruises.
Lumo’s launch of low-cost rail services could disrupt current rail and air services between London and Edinburgh. Its low-cost model alongside a focus on minimising environmental impact will bode well for shifting traveller trends as the sector recovers from the pandemic, says GlobalData.
Gus Gardner, associate travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, says British travellers have become accustomed to high fares and low-quality services that, pre-Covid, were often overcrowded.
Irish Whiskey’s ‘serious revival’ has not only given rise to an influx of new distilleries but also led to the formation of several tours based around the spirited beverage.
John Callely, founder of Whiskey Island Premium Tours and Tastings, says that for a long time the island of Ireland’s whiskey industry lay dormant. ‘At one stage we were down to just two distilleries, now we have 39 and more (about 25) on the way.’
He says whiskey trails offered to guests take in a number of distilleries but also stop at some of the historical, cultural and scenic highlights along the way.
Switzerland Tourism’s first Virtual Switzerland Travel Experience 2021 welcomed more than 150 advisors from New Zealand and Australia across the two-day event recently.
Apart from receiving useful updates on Switzerland’s travel experiences via six dedicated workshops and pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with the country’s 14 plus key tourism providers, attendees were also treated to live interactive entertainment by SongDivision.
A major highlight at STE2021 was the panel discussion on sustainability. Hosted by Switzerland Tourism’s executive vice president, Urs Eberhard, the panel discussed the meaning of Swisstainable.
More than 25 tourism providers from the island of Ireland, as well as four operators based in Australia and New Zealand, will re-engage with travel advisors at Tourism Ireland ANZ’s first Ireland Virtual Expo on 7 and 8 September from 5pm-7pm.
At the online B2B event, Tourism Ireland will facilitate an Exhibit Hall as well as one-on-one pre-scheduled video appointments, where advisors will connect with the exhibitors to obtain the latest in news and experiences. The event will help advisors discover/rediscover the wide range of products and experiences in Ireland.
Tourism Ireland says it is looking forward to rolling out the green carpet to international visitors following the country’s adoption of the EU’s new Digital Covid Certificate.
This will enable more seamless travel among EU member states. Ireland will begin the scheme on 19 July, meaning that travellers from EU member states bearing the pass – which attests that the holder has either been vaccinated, has had a negative test for Covid-19 or has had the virus – will then be able to visit Ireland without the need for a test or quarantining.
Rail Europe’s new module, available on its e-learning platform, The Rail Agent Course, is designed to help travel agents learn about the Eurail pass in all its forms.
As an added bonus for participants, agents who complete the module have the chance to win a Eurail pass, First Class, for unlimited travel in Europe.
In February, Rail Europe released a mobile version of the Eurail passes on its API and agent website. The mobile pass allows travellers to cross up to 33 countries on several railway networks, using one pass.
Rail Europe is offering a mobile version of its Eurail Passes, offering flexible exchange options.
The mobile version is being released through Rail Europe’s API and its agents website. It allows passengers to cross from one to 33 countries on several railways with one pass.
Adventure World Travel is offering an exclusive offer on two Follow the Lights itineraries in Scandinavia. Clients who book with Adventure World Travel before 20 February 2021 can save up to $500pp.
The offer applies to both the northbound and southbound versions of the Follow the Lights journey onboard a Hurtigruten ship. Both itineraries take guests through fjords and ports of Finland and Norway, with a possibility to spot the Northern Lights.
Cycling Europe’s new Bike Boat & Barge brochure 2021 is available on www.cycling-europe.com together with the detailed trip notes for each tour.
‘We believe continuity is important so we decided to publish the brochure for 2021,’ says Cycling Europe/A Walker’s World founder Jill Grant. ‘Some of these tours did go ahead successfully last year.’
The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) new estimates for the impacts of Covid-19 on air transport and economies in Europe in 2020 indicate a further deterioration in revenues, job prospects and economic activity across the entire continent.
IATA’s latest economic forecast reveals that in 2021 Europe is expected to be the worst hit global region in terms of airline losses (-$11.9 billion). Passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger km, RPK) is estimated to have
After five years of construction, Zurich Airport has opened its new district, The Circle, to the public. It features two Hyatt hotels offering a combined 555 rooms, a convention centre spanning 5000sqm, a major medical centre with health and beauty facilities, 70,000sqm of office space, scenic parks, a series of high-end shops and a range of concept restaurants.
The impacts on the European aviation industry and on economies caused by the shutdown of air traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic have worsened over recent weeks, new research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveals.