Lisa Mead from A Walker’s World recently took part in a famil trip on the Kumano Kodo Trail in Japan. This pilgrimage trail in Southern Japan has existed for over 1,000 years and pilgrims from all levels of society have trod their way to the Grand Shrines of Kumano. Mead says the week long route is a challenging trail that is steeped in a rich cultural and natural heritage. Walking can be tailored to cover the highlights of the route to suit a walker’s level of fitness for three days and longer. ‘Accommodations along the way are mostly Japanese traditional style inns and guesthouses with tatami mat flooring in the guest and dining rooms and futon mattresses to sleep on. Meals are included which is an adventure into typical Japanese cuisine. Hot springs are common on the route and baths with mineral waters (called ‘onsen’) are soothing at the end of a day’s walk. Protocol is important and preparation notes are provided to cover the dos and don’ts. The Kumano Kodo is an immersion into the Japanese way of life far from the large cities. ‘The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route embodies the spiritual origins of Japan in much the same way the Camino de Santiago in Spain embodies Christianity. Completing certain sections of both trails will earn walkers the Dual Pilgrim Credential. email@example.com
Singapore Airlines has launched Destination of the Month, where each month it will feature an up-coming destination on the SIA group network. This will be supported with an awareness sales pack, tactical airfare offering, special land / tour rates, special agent airfares, and special agent land rates.
Macao’s history, its new hotels and entertainment complexes in Cotai, and its gastronomy are all part of the destination’s promotional prole in 2018.
However agents who want to offer a couple of 'out of the ordinary’ tips to clients can start with these:
There is more to Japan than just Sushi and Tempura. That’s one of the key messages that will be highlighted to trade when Japan National Tourism Organization and supplier partners hold a roadshow in Auckland next month.
‘We are also trying to break the stereotype of travel to Japan being expensive,’ says Sally Miles, business development and marketing assistant at JNTO.
‘Especially with so many major sporting events happening – Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 – there’s no better time for clients to see Japan.
Korea has entered the spotlight thanks to the success of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018, and with this Korean food has been put on the global radar.
From Michelin starred restaurants to more affordable street food options, there is something for everyone, and they can all easily be found in the heart of Seoul.
However, when venturing out a little south by train visitors will come across the true foodie capital of Jeonju, which was declared UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2012.
One block and a world away from the glitz and glamour of Cotai Strip is the old Taipa Village – sure to be a favourite of clients seeking traditional tavernas, Chinese street-style food, and authentic Portuguese fare.
Old Taipa has distinct areas; a European precinct with museums and gardens (a place for a quiet break) and the busier Chinese section.
Opened last month, the 1300 room MGM Cotai is likely to retain the mantle of Macao’s newest hotel for another year.
Twice the size of its MGM counterpart in the city, the new resort on the strip has four celebrity chef restaurants (Grill 58, Aji, Coast, and Janice Wong MGM), four specialist Chinese restaurants and a bar.
Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge has announced it is rebranding to Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. Located in South Kolkata’s neighbourhood of Ballygunge, the hotel is within proximity of the international airport and railway station.
Pushkar Camel Fair is a grand display of Rajasthan’s cultural and social spirit.
On a 14-day Exotic Holidays tour to the fair, guests can experience a bustling temporary tented town with thousands of tourists, pilgrims, local rural people, traders, and camels all gathered in one place.
SALA Samui Chaweng Beach in Thailand is opening with design inspiration from Koh Samui and neighbouring Koh Phangan’s Full Moon, Half Moon, and Black Moon celebrations.
The resort will open in two phases, starting with the Oceanfront Wing, as well as facilities and guest rooms designed to take in the ocean views.
Some 104 islands lay off the coast of Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia.
Exotic Holidays is currently promoting a Langkawi sailing and island hopping adventure that will take clients to the white sandy beaches of Pulau Dayang Bunting or Pulau Singa, for ‘tropical vibes, colourful wildlife and ultimate relaxation’.
As part of a conservation project in Singapore, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has given two properties a complete restoration.
The project is located in the heart of Chinatown where Six Senses Singapore is split across two buildings that are a wander apart.
Mountaineering presents opportunities for the development of the tourism industry in Asia’s mountainous regions, especially among younger visitors, according to GlobalData.
Konstantina Boutsioukou, tourism analyst at GlobalData, says the Alps, as well as mountains in the US, have traditionally been among the favourite destinations for mountain climbers.
With ski season in Japan just around the corner, Visit Kinosaki says travellers should head to Kinosaki Onsen before or after a week of skiing and snowboarding to wind down in its many ‘hot springs.
Alison-Roberts Brown, regional director of Visit Kinosaki in Australia, says Kinosaki is an absolute must for those wanting to go beyond the slopes and get a taste of the real japan.
‘It’s the perfect way to treat yourself to a dose of cultural indulgence before heading back home. So we really recommend taking that trip to the mainland after a ski holiday for you will be rewarded with some of the most
Langham Hospitality Group has announced it will manage a luxury hotel by the banks of Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
Only 10 minutes from Sathorn CBD, the hotel is surrounded by views of the river and city and is expected to open in 2021.
‘To be right on the banks of the famed Chao Phraya River with its temples, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw is a hotelier’s dream,’ says Simon Manning, chief sales and marketing officer of Langham Hospitality Group.
Sanctum Inle Lake Resort is located in Myanmar and just has launched a boat journey to an ancient village, Sagar.
The 538-year-old village is located on the southern-most reaches of a lake and according to Philippe Arnaud, Sanctum Inle Resort’s general manager, very few tourists make the trip to the region to see what it has to offer.
Velana International Airport (previously known as Male International Airport) in the Maldives is now serving 2.6 million passengers and over 35 scheduled and chartered carriers annually.
Anticipating an increase in the number of travellers, and to future-proof its business, the airport has now deployed Amadeus’ airport management solutions.
There have been reports that there is disruption at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka due to a strike by drivers and suppliers with travellers needing to cancel their safaris.
Shamraz Azeez, operations manager of locally owned and operated DMC, Tour Blue says the company’s guests have no reason for concern and their holidays won’t be adversely effected.
‘The situation is still unpredictable. Some days are effected by strikes and this may continue until a permanent solution is found.
Exotic Holidays is currently emphasising the appeal to a Palace on Wheels, known as the pioneer of luxury train travel in India.
Rahul Sharma says Palace on Wheels allows clients to travel with ‘all the elegance of a bygone era as the Maharajas of India once did.’
He says the journey offers opulence and comfort in luxurious cabins, with butler service.
Promoting untouched and little-known regions of India and Sri Lanka was high on the agenda when the World Journeys Masterclass was held at Highwic House in Auckland.
Te agents involved were all top-selling agents for World Journeys, with the number of participants limited to 40.
Adi Bajaj, of Perfect Travel, says that while the Golden Triangle remains an important destination, a key emphasis with this week’s session was on promoting pre- and post- add-on opportunities.
Having designed many itineraries to Vietnam, Kinjal Shah from Exotic Holidays’ reservations team recently experienced the destination first hand.
‘During this trip, I got to explore Saigon – a city once devastated by war and now transformed into a modern city,’ says Shah.
‘While the characteristic of French colonization is still there, clients will now find big international hotel brands, cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants as you stroll through district one. Much of the history is exhibited at the War Remnants Museum; including tiger cages – where
Total Holiday Options has added a Women’s India Getaway to its latest brochure due to popular demand.
THO global managing director Amaan Khan says the tours are packed with culinary experiences, including cooking classes, women’s spa and massage, shopping, free time and cultural experiences.
The 15 days / 14 nights include visits to Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Deogarh Palace, Jodhpur and Mumbai.
‘Varanasi is famous for its silk as well as its spiritual experience, while Jaipur – the Pink City – is known for its shopping as well as its colours and culture. Obviously the Taj Mahal and the Blue City of Jodhpur are other highlights.’
Khan says the Women’s India getaway departs once a month from now through to April 2018 and again in the season through late 2018 to 2019.
Bangkok is the leading travel destination for 2017, according to the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017.
Asia Pacific destinations made up five of the top 10 in the annual survey, which ranks the world’s 132 top destination cities – with Bangkok in Thailand taking out first place.
‘It is easy to see why Bangkok has topped the Global Destinations Cities Index as a great place to travel.
Exotic Holidays is promoting the nine day Sabah Nature Delight Tour as its ‘pick of the week’. Exotic’s managing director Rahul Sharma says clients on the tour will visit the Malaysian state’s valleys, rivers, wildlife reserves and animal sanctuaries.
Hong Kong’s Regal International hotel group will make a two-day sales mission to New Zealand from 11 September to spread the word about its new branded leisure product and a new schedule of rates specifically for New Zealand agents.
A special interest tour with leading photographer Kiwi Chris Van Ryn will visit the Tsaachin tribe (or Reindeer People) in June next year. Van Ryn says the tour is the perfect way for clients to explore and mingle with this shrinking tribe in the spectacular landscapes of Mongolia whilst improving their photography skills.
Adventure World has released its Exodus Cycling Asia catalogue, showcasing an array of active adventure holidays in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Adventure World has outlined the top ve Asian destinations for cycling explorers, from the diverse landscapes of Indonesia to the foodie heaven of Vietnam.
Following the high demand for its Eternal India trip launched in 2016, Contiki is expanding its product in the region with a new ‘In-Depth Explorer’ Southern Spice trip launched this week. Other trips in Asia including China Adventure and the Big Indochina have been rened and improved.
Fathom Asia is adding depth to what it offers in the region through a new business relationship with Asia DMC. Jay Soysa, product – reservations manager with Fathom Asia (which is under the Francis Travel Marketing umbrella), says that the relationship has grown from an existing connection. ‘As the local GSA for luxury Aqua Expeditions, it was a natural progression for us to explore opportunities with their approved preferred partner – Asia DMC – for pre and post land content,’ adds Soysa.
The Fujian Tourist Administration invited a range of agents and industry to a special breakfast in the Crystal Ballroom at the Langham in Auckland last week as it looks to promote the Fujian Province in China and strengthen its New Zealand relationships.
Contiki and the Tourism Authority of Thailand have created a 360° virtual reality and cinematic Thailand experience aimed at millennial travellers.
The activation is based on Contiki’s new Northern Thai Highlights trip, giving them the opportunity to see a more cultural, authentic side of Thailand. The four destinations on
The four destinations on show are Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Kanchanaburi.
Exotic Holidays’ recent agents’ famil to Borneo highlighted the best of nature, wildlife and culture on the world’s third largest Island.
Rainforests, an abundance of wildlife and a closer look at the ancient tribes of Borneo along with local markets, food stalls and a look at the history of Borneo completed the experience.
Arriving in Kuching, Sarawak’s capital city, agents learned about the interesting history of the state and the influence of the White Rajahs, Sarawak’s founding monarchy.
Exotic Holidays is promoting quad and mountain bike tours as a different way to experience Siam Reap in Cambodia.
Clients begin their tour with visits to Prasat Kravan, The Royal Baths, Banteay Kdei and Eastern Mebon. They will also visit Angkor Thom and explore Bayon temple and the Elephants Terrace. The day finishes with sunset at the Pre Rup mountain-temple.
The next day the tour heads into the countryside to visit a school and meet the locals. This will be followed by a visit to Senteurs D’Angkor where you’ll taste authentic teas and liquors.
As New Zealand opened its arms last week to about 25,000 athletes taking part in the 2017 World Masters Games, Penang stepped up to the plate to promote its own major sporting event.
The Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) Penang 2018 was officially launched at a function in Auckland on Friday. They are the first multi-sport Masters Games to be staged in Asia and will be held from 8 to