The sun beats down on the old 4x4 as we bump across Wadi Rum in Jordan. Atop camels, Bedouins almost fly between the red and tan striated sandstone and granite outcroppings, leaving only clouds of sand in their wake. Visions of Lawrence of Arabia and the stereotypical picture of the Hashemite Kingdom come to life.
It is always a challenge selling destinations that have a history of unrest, but fortunately, although Ethiopia is occasionally in the news, it is not known for widespread violence. It is still important to be aware of current events and possible threats, and booking with well-established tour operators like Big Five Tours & Expeditions (www.bigfive.com) will ensure that your clients will have the safest and most worry-free trip. Advise your clients not to book last-minute side trips, and book them group excursions for exploring more remote areas.
Until the current political crisis that has effectively isolated Qatar from most of its Mideast neighbors, the tiny oil- and gas-rich Gulf state was well positioned as an up-and-coming destination for the American market. With a world-class airline and outstanding hotels as well as an abundance of desert adventures, exotic shopping, dazzling architecture and a modern and welcoming atmosphere, Qatar is a fun place to visit, as well as a comfortable place to do business.
You never know what awaits you on an African safari, and with more and more luxury safari lodges popping up all over Africa, the choices are endless for a first-class experience. From luxury-tented camps, plunge pools and spa treatments; to exotic food and spiritual ceremonies, we’ve got you covered with this roundup of some of the best new choices out there. Your clients will enjoy pristine animal viewing by day while nature’s orchestra serenades them to sleep during the evening hours.
From vast savannah plains to snow-dusted mountains, Southern Africa is a place to explore many different landscapes. Its people are just as diverse, and new experiences are offered around every corner. The countries of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana are specifically gaining in popularity every year, making a visit to these three countries a perfect combination for a trip of a lifetime.
Millennia of history lay before me when the van stopped at Mount Scopus. Religion. War. Architectural wonders built, destroyed and rebuilt.
The Dome of the Rock is visible from here. Built on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, it became a Roman temple in 70 CE, the Omar Mosque in 691, an Augustinian church in 1099, and was claimed by the Knights Templar in 1119. It was renovated by the Jordanian government in the 20th century, turned over to Israel after the bloody six-day war in 1967 and, to keep the peace, was returned to the Arabs soon after. Guides recite history books. Still, what was I to experience? We continued the journey to Jerusalem.
It’s been a number of years since I last visited the magical Kingdom of Jordan, and since that time there has been much exciting tourism news coming out of the country. The good news includes many hotel openings to talk about, as well as tourism revenue and arrival numbers that continue
Africa really is where man - and woman - first roamed the earth. Some even point specifically to Tanzania according to experts at Africa’s Top Travel show, held from May 16-18 this year in Durban, South Africa. About 1,000 representatives participated in the annual event held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention center, better known as the DICC or Durban International Convention Center
This year’s ASTA ADE (www.asta.org) event was held in Kenya. Taking place during February 2017, hundreds of U.S. travel agents, suppliers and tourism executives had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and history of Kenya and returned to the U.S. with extensive knowledge about how to sell this unique destination. Travel agents and tour operators have recently seen a dramatic increase in travel to Africa from the U.S., which will only be enhanced by the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement that Kenya complies with international safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program. This rating means Kenya’s civil aviation authority meets International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
Sometimes Israel comes with a price; there is always a prize, too. For me, a few inconveniences and a spiritual awakening are always worth the journey.
Although the April sun shone, it was cold and I shivered under a black and red shawl. Michal Neumann, our tour guide, showed us the stone replica of 1st century Jerusalem, one that spanned a small hill within the Israel Museum’s outdoor grounds. It was, she said, the Jerusalem Jesus of Nazareth knew.