was 25 years ago this year that the country saw the fall of apartheid, ending centuries of white-only rule, and giving all races the right to vote. The anniversary is officially observed on April 27, 2019, also known as ‘’Freedom Day,’’ a statutory holiday in the country. The year 2019 not only marks this historic event but also ushers in exciting new hotels and lodges, and a cool new initiative from the tourism board in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
To quote the Bajan muse Rihanna, Barbados wants to know “Where Have You Been,” especially come summertime in the Caribbean.
New year-round flights make Barbados more accessible than ever, and hot summer events include the revived Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival and of course the island’s unique take on Carnival, Crop Over, a month-long party that happens every July.
For those who want to visit Asia, but are not sure where to start, Taiwan is the perfect place to visit and experience Asian culture. Taiwan will ease you into the East in a very gentle and wonderful way. An island that is located in the heart of Asia, Taiwan is rich with not only modern cities, but ancient Chinese temples, and a bounty of nature, boasting hot springs and stunning mountains.
As travel agents you’re especially aware of what today’s travelers seek. Standard one-size-fits-all tours are out; today’s traveler wants to step into local culture, do what locals do, experience the local scene and taste the local flavors. Especially the latter, as travelers realize that local foods and culinary traditions are a vital key to understanding local cultures.
Your clients may not have considered Germany for their foody travels, perhaps thinking that German food begins and ends with knackwurst, dumplings and sauerkraut. They may be surprised when you tell them that Germany ranks 4th in the world for the number of restaurants with 3 Michelin stars. They will find a full range of dining choices, from the traditional hearty Gasthof favorites to brilliantly conceived dishes to delight the most sophisticated palate.
Australia is a diverse country and a huge continent - a place for adventure where excitement and natural beauty blend.
It teems with wildlife, is home to the Aboriginal people, has its own wine country and more than 900 islands in its Great Barrier Reef.
Arrayed across undulating hills overlooking its namesake bay, Japan’s Nagasaki is considered the “Naples of the Orient.” But Nagasaki is even better known as the city where the second Atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945, killing 75,000 people, wounding another 75,000, and leaving generations of survivors physically and emotionally scarred.
The bombing was Nagasaki’s greatest tragedy. But it wasn’t the first. In 1597, nearly 50 years after St. Francis Xavier brought Christianity to Japan, Nagasaki witnessed the hilltop crucifixion of 26 Roman Catholic missionaries and laymen followed by more than 250 years of Christian expulsion and persecution.
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.
Allow me to take a few moments to introduce you to the latest love of my life, the lovely and lush country of Slovenia, a land of fairytales and forests that stole my heart for six days. You may remember it as part of Yugoslavia or know Slovenia as the birthplace of the First Lady of the United States, but you must travel to this verdant land to appreciate its magic. Slovenia connects the Alps, the Mediterranean and the Pannonian Plain in accessible distances. You can easily pair a trip to Slovenia with a visit to Austria, Hungary, Croatia or Italy. But you just may want to stay for a week, a while, or forever.
One of the primary reasons for my passion for this tiny country which is about the size of New Hampshire, is that it is full of diversity and surprises. Did you know that the noble white Lipizzaner horses hail from Slovenia? Or that Slovenia is home to Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world? It seems almost implausible that a landscape dotted with ancient castles and steeples is just 26 years old. Join in a journey through the mountains filled with grazing pastoral animals, ribbons of greenery and breathtaking scenery.
With a long list of musicians, composers and artists, Germany has influenced Europe’s cultural scene for centuries. These days, Northern Germany commands the spotlight. Hamburg, one of the world’s fastest-growing ports, opened the stunning Elbphilharmonie concert hall. In Lübeck—celebrating its 30th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—museums honor Nobel Prize-winning novelists Thomas Mann and Günter Grass. In Berlin, the capital, art-lovers flock to scores of galleries, including the newly opened Museum Barberini in Potsdam.
Few destinations have breezes as fragrant or seas as clear as the islands and coastline of Croatia. Speed boats and a ferry from Venice access Losinj, an island 25 miles off the northern Adriatic coast of Croatia. The island can also be reached by flying from Zagreb to Pula in Istria, ferrying to Krk and the island of Cres and driving to the main town of Mali Losinj. Plans are underway to lengthen the runway to accommodate larger planes. Adventures Croatia (www.adventurescroatia.com) customizes travel itineraries to fit the interests, budget and style of your clients traveling in Croatia.
I was among eight passengers aboard a private King Air plane, which flew from Marco Polo International Airport in Venice to Losinj, an enchanting, health promoting island.