“Wherever you dig in Israel, you find history-often layer upon layer of civilizations,” said Michal Neumann, who was guiding our small group of travel trade journalists on a whirlwind seven-day history-focused journey through Israel. Licensed guides in Israel undergo rigorous training and testing and meet ongoing requirements and can greatly enhance a visit. We were standing at the Israel Museum’s giant model of ancient Jerusalem as Michal unfurled five feet of cards listing the names and dates of the major waves of peoples who have left their marks here. The cards would come out throughout our trip, adding perspective to sites like Acre, where an Ottoman walled town sits atop remains of a medieval Crusader capital.
While on camera Mutirl wa Bashara offered his opinion of Indaba, Africa’s largest annual travel and tourism conference. He did it in French. Others said the same, whether in English, Zulu or any other language used in or out of Africa. The confluence of tongues was heard from dignitaries, those representing African countries and companies, and the international journalists reporting on the event, held at the International Convention Center in Durban (ICC), in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
In the ancient Kingdom of Morocco, what’s old is always new. That’s especially true in Marrakech, from Jemaa El Fna, the famous square known for its snake charmers, storytellers and nightly food stalls, to the kaleidoscopic souks of the medina, or old town.
With a recent New York Times article naming Tanzania one of the top places to visit in 2015, it’s no wonder The tourism minister has announced a $1.5 million rebranding project to film and produce a television commercial to broadcast worldwide, including on CNN and the BBC. The re-branding “Destination Tanzania” project is expected to result in an increase in the number of tourists entering the country to at least 2.5 million tourists per year in the next 5 years, with a goal of increasing tourist arrivals to as many as 5 million by 2010. The tourism sector currently represents nearly 3.4% of the total GDP of Tanzania and
employs approximately 500,000 Tanzanians. And, in 2013, a total of 1,135,884 tourists visited Tanzania, bringing earnings from the Tanzania tourism sector to a historical high of $1.8 billion. With numbers like this, the future definitely looks bright for this East African country.
A trip to Kenya is a trip of a lifetime for most of your clients. The country, which has a rich heritage and an array of tourist attractions along with breathtaking landscapes, makes Kenya an ideal holiday destination. In central Kenya there are cool temperatures and expansive tea and coffee farms.
There are many destinations to visit while in Israel, despite most folks arriving and immediately heading to Jerusalem and then completing their tour in Tel Aviv. Israel is a country where an astonishing amount of history sits front and center alongside the modernity of Tel Aviv. Take some time while traveling and head out to the countryside where some of the lesser known, but equally interesting stops will tell the bigger story.
Travel agents all have at least one client seeking a unique vacation, one that offers a sense of discovery and greater world knowledge.
For that next one-of-a-kind adventurer consider Ethiopia, located in the horn of Africa.
One of the lesser traveled regions, Ethiopia has a fascinating history that actually begins with human civilization.
Ethiopia, entrenched with indigenous tradition and ceremony, is enjoying an uptick in tourism. Tourists will find that the people are friendly and curious about them.
My trip to Israel was incredible and a great way to take in all of the amazing sights, sounds, and experiences that Israel has to offer. Organized as a Jewish Heritage tour, most of the sites we visited were framed from a Jewish standpoint; however, they would still be wonderful for a non-Jewish tourist to enjoy.
If planning an African safari for yourself or for your clients, there are several directions to head in, and several safaris styles to consider. Here are six well worth ticking off your list.
South Africa - for The Hip and Historical Traveler
South Africa has several contemporary angles and offerings. From the hip city of Cape Town, to the neighboring Stellenbosch wine region, several South African surfing meccas and World Cup soccer stadiums, it’s a great place to start your African travels.
There is no better place to take in South Africa’s recent apartheid history than in Johannesburg. Visiting Nelson Mandela’s home, the Apartheid museum and the township of Soweto are essential. Finish off with a South African safari with andBeyond’s safaris and lodges. Their guides are exceptional and their properties are luxe. You can stay in iconic Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand or the idyllic Phinda Private Game Reserve. www.andbeyond.com For townships tours, contact Spirit of Africa, www.spiritofafrica.co.za
While you might surmise that tourism to the Middle East has taken a decline over the past years, and this is certainly true for some parts of the region, there are areas - primarily the Gulf Region - that continue to see substantial tourism growth.
The magical and beautiful country of Oman is building new airports, hotels, and a state-of-the-art convention center to boost tourism. This is a very calculated move by the government as they try to reduce their reliance on oil revenues, which accounted for 72 percent of Oman’s revenue in 2013. The capital city of Muscat has also begun development on a new passenger terminal at their international airport, looking to receive up to 12 million passengers annually. Figures released by the World Travel and Tourism Council projected that by 2024, 8.2 percent of Oman’s GDP will come from tourism, which contributed to 6.4 percent in 2013.