Africa, Middle East
Jordan is a rising star for the travel industry at the moment, World Journeys director and Middle East/North Africa specialist Kate Couling says.
She adds that Petra, the ancient Roman city of Jerash, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum are the main drawcards.
Viva Expeditions has released a new seven-day itinerary taking in the highlights of Northern Morocco.
Departing from Casablanca, the Moroccan Northern Delights package includes a guided tour of Rabat, two nights in the ‘blue city’ of Chefchaouen, an excursion to the Akchour waterfalls, and two full days exploring the culture, cuisine and history of Fes.
World Journeys is reporting a spike in demand for tailor-made travel to Morocco.
‘Morocco is one of those destinations which is not like anywhere else, with its blend of ancient cities, souks, deserts and mountains. Add to that delicious cuisine and the riad accommodation, and there is good reason for its popularity,’ says marketing manager Caroline Clegg.
Viva has launched a new range of Africa tours and packages today, encompassing 13 countries from South Africa to Jordan. While this is the first time Viva has offered travel to Africa, the adventure travel company has strong ties to the continent.
Viking has announced 99 new departure dates for its Egypt river voyage. With the current season almost sold out, the popular 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary now has increased availability in 2024 and 2025.
While research shows that wealth concerns are replacing health related travel hesitation, Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison says the country is still registering strong progress with high yielding travellers.
At the Australian Tourism Exchange, underway in the Gold Coast this week, Harrison noted that these travellers are spending 25% more than they were before Covid.
The opening of JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge marks the company’s highly anticipated debut in the luxury safari segment.
Sitting within the Masai Mara National Reserve in south western Kenya, the lodge’s guided game drives offer guests the opportunity to observe the ‘Big Five’ that Masai Mara is home to – lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is host to the annual great wildebeest migration.
Adventure World’s partner Desert & Delta Safaris are changing the face, and the sound, of safari experiences in Botswana.
The Wings Over Botswana tour ventures through the Chobe National Park in one of four electric-powered game drive vehicles.
World Journeys reports that although enquiries for travel to Africa started slowly as borders reopened, they have grown exponentially month-on-month more recently, as the destination regains its popularity.
High on the list of experiences are luxury safaris and rail journeys – in particular the longer itineraries with Rovos Rail.
Taking longer trips, often visiting more countries in the one journey, and accessing special experiences like sleeping under the stars, are all among trends that Tony O’Callaghan, World Journeys’ Africa expert is seeing from Kiwis heading to the Continent.
Sue Hague of World Journeys has just returned from attending the PURE Life Experiences expo in Morocco.
Focusing on luxury and experiential travel, the annual travel event featured over 400 of the most inspiring luxury hotels, high-end product and specialist tour operators from all around the world.
Egyptian Ambassador to New Zealand, Dina Farouk El Sehy, reports an upward trend of New Zealanders again travelling to Egypt.
Speaking to Robyn Galloway MD of Innovative Travel at Egypt’s National Day celebrations in Wellington yesterday the ambassador acknowledged the company’s long-standing commitment to Egypt, which has continued for over 30 years.
World Journeys is highlighting the opening of the new-look and sustainably-designed andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge.
The area is also home to large resident lion prides, an annual topi migration, and the black-and-white colobus monkey - found nowhere else in the Serengeti.
As demand for Egypt grows, World Journeys is reminding agents of its 15-day “Cruise the Nile” itinerary aboard the four-star Movenpick MS Darakum.
The itinerary covers the ‘must-sees’ of Egypt, with comprehensive sightseeing at key locations such as in Cairo, the pyramids and sphinx of Giza, Luxor, Edfu and Aswan. In addition, the cruise stops in to some lesser known but equally fascinating ancient ruins, and allows guests time to relax as they cruise past Egyptian farmlands, sugar cane plantations and local villages.
Africa’s Travel Indaba was held last week with a call for the continent to work collaboratively to drive tourism growth, so as to accelerate the sector’s recovery.
The event was at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, with over 634 exhibitors and 625 buyers attending.
World Journeys travel designer and Africa expert Tony O’Callaghan is currently in Botswana checking out luxury camps and lodges, prior to attending the Indaba trade show in Durban, South Africa. First on the agenda was andBeyond Savute Under Canvas, a mobile camp in a wild and remote setting, followed by a luxury chalet at Savute Safari Lodge, both in wildlife-rich Chobe National Park. Next up is the famed Okavango Delta.
Adventure World general manager Caryn Young is back in Africa to reconnect face to face with suppliers and source new sustainable product that reflects the company’s new positioning statement of ‘Travel with Purpose’. Young is attending Africa’s Travel Indaba trade show in Durban, South Africa.
After a two-year pause due to Covid-19, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2022 will take place in Durban from 2 to 5 May 2022 with the theme, Africa’s stories, your success.
South African Tourism’s acting chief executive officer, Themba Khumalo, says the show is specifically tailored to advancing the continent’s tourism sector needs, with a clear outlook towards recovery. ‘Buyers from across the globe will have access to only the best and uniquely African products and experiences,’ he says.
A Walker’s World is promoting its Highlights of Morocco, a guided tour with departures each Sunday for a minimum of two people.
Managing director, Jill Grant says there’s an option to spend the night in a tented Berber camp in the Sahara Desert, getting there by camel. Nights are in traditional Moroccan guesthouses – riads – while the days are spent visiting souks, bazaars, mosques and the ancient cities of Fes and Marrakech. Prices start at around $3,135 per person.
World Journeys’ Africa specialist travel designer Tony O’Callaghan says PCR tests prior to arrival are no longer required by fully vaccinated travellers for entry to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, the Seychelles and Mauritius.
Travellers must have proof of vaccination and there will be some Covid screening on arrival, but no quarantine is required.
‘We have all the up-to-date information for each destination, and can guide agents through the specific requirements for their clients’ bookings,’ says O’Callaghan.
World Journeys reports that families travelling with teens have a new option for safaris in Africa.
Luxury safari operator andBeyond has introduced a new series of WILDchild Eco-Guide Challenges, immersing young people in Africa’s natural wonders and cultures.
Innovative Travel has released a new 24-day tour combining traditional destination favourites Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan for 2022.
Managing Director Robyn Galloway says the tour is also being released internationally to cater for markets seeking a small group tour experience, who are ready and able to travel.
High-end enquiries for bespoke FIT and inter-generational holidays is the fastest growing trend following the Government announcement that the New Zealand border will re-open for longer haul travel in 2022, according to Innovative Travel managing director, Robyn Galloway.
‘Families and individuals with generous budgets are seeking bespoke arrangements and peace of mind travel, with local in-country 24/7 backup,’ Galloway says.
After the cancellation of two signature global trade shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South African Tourism will host both Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba in 2022.
Meetings Africa will be at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 28 February to 2 March while Africa’s Travel Indaba will be at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 2 to 5 May. Both shows will be physical events with limited virtual components.
Innovative Travel has details on its rescheduled Jordan, Holyland and Oberammergau Passion Play tour, hosted by Rev. Mike and Patsy Hawke.
The 25-day tour will depart New Zealand on 22 May 2022 and has just a few spaces left, says Innovative travel’s managing director, Robyn Galloway.
Innovative Travel advises that The Safari Company founder, Kiwi born Andy Kibby, has returned to Nairobi in preparation for the 2022 safari season. All postponed safaris from 2020 will operate in 2022.
The company’s specially converted high deck safari truck has an additional viewing platform and spacious seating with roll up canvas windows. Whilst on safari, groups are at a maximum of 18, so all clients have the opportunity to view the wild and bird life with a clear view
at all times.
Innovative Travel has released packages for the Dubai World Expo which will operate from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022.
‘With NZ looking to reconnect to the world, we hope that there will be the opportunity for New Zealanders to visit the long awaited Dubai World Expo, along with expats offshore,’ says Innovative Travel MD, Robyn Galloway.
The expo will be the largest event held in the Arab world with 192 countries exhibiting and 25 million visitors expected.
South African Tourism acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini says the country’s tourism sector still has the potential to create jobs and its importance to the economy has not relinquished.
Speaking at the media launch for Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit (ATTS) last week, Dlamini said governments are committed to supporting the tourism industry’s revival.
Excluded, boutique style lodges in the wide open spaces of Africa will provide agents with revenue opportunities post Covid while ticking the boxes for many clients seeking safe travel, says Norman Harper, sales manager Australia and
New Zealand for &Beyond.
Harper was in New Zealand late May, working closely with niche wholesaler World Journeys and catching up with key retailers.
Interest in Egypt as a river cruise destination continues to climb as Viking sees a 25% jump in sales weeks after announcing a new addition to its fleet.
‘The expansion to our Egypt fleet with the debut of Viking Aton in September 2022 has generated a significant surge in interest and bookings from New Zealanders and Australians,’ says Michelle Black, Viking ANZ managing director. ‘The addition of Viking Aton takes our Egypt river fleet to three, alongside Viking Osiris and Viking Ra. We have also secured exclusive docking rights near Karnak Temple in Luxor, one of the region’s highlights, meaning no double docking for our ships on the Nile.’
Jordan has announced it is opening for partial tourism, with safety measures to allow for the recommencement of international transfer passengers, via Amman Airport, reports Innovative Travel. To transit Amman Airport all clients must provide proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival, with a maximum transit time not exceeding 10 hours.
For visitors entering Jordan, pre boarding proof of a negative PCR Test within 72 hours of departure and health insurance are required. A further negative PCR test is paid for upon arrival at a cost of 28JOD (approximately US$40) per person.
New Zealand travel agents and brokers, as well as product managers and others in the wholesale sector, can register now for OurAfrica.
The format is a two-week show with two time-zones and 123 exhibitors have already registered from around Africa. The platform is free and was tested successfully when used in 2020.
Botswana’s borders began progressively opening this week. The country’s President has announced a phased approach that will see air travel resume at Botswana’s three key airports: Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Kasane and Maun.
International air travel will then follow, resuming from 1 December at Phillip Gaonwe Matante International Airport in Francistown, as well as the opening of ground crossings at the commercial
South Africa will be opening its international borders amid further easing of restrictions as announced in a statement by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.
Travel into and out of South Africa will be allowed for business, leisure and other travel with effect from 1 October 2020. This is subject to various measures.
As the world starts to adjust to new ways of travelling and countries around the world have begun opening up, World Journeys says that there can be no easier 'distancing' than in the African wilderness on safari.
The company has a wide range of options as clients look for comfort, security and exclusive experiences away from big crowds. ‘From trekking gorillas in Uganda staying at the small, comfortable Buhoma Lodge to perhaps a sole-use stay for a family at Wilderness Safaris' Jao Villa in Botswana's
A Walker’s World is promoting fly-in safaris to luxury tented camps on a private concession in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and 2020 rates are being held for 2021.
The small intimate camps of no more than 20 guests are set in thousands of hectares of African wilderness.
Jill Grant, managing director of A Walker’s World says the emphasis is on viewing game close-up in its natural environment , unaffected by too many landrovers and tourists. There are a variety of game-
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi will be hosting online training webinars for travel agents so they can upskill during Covid-19. Afterwards, a fun Kahoot quiz will be held and three prizes will be given away following each webinar, sourced from the winners’ local area.
The webinars will be hosted every Tuesday at 12:30pm (NZ time) covering the topics: Culture and Tradition, Action and Adventure and Family Fun.
The latest in the World Journeys series of ‘armchair training’ topics is the phenomena of the Great Migration of wildlife across the plains of East Africa.
Director Ange Pirie says the company is trying to keep the inspiration levels up, and keep travel dreams alive.
Wilderness and wildlife are under increased threat as global Covid-19 travel restrictions impact wildlife tourism operators.
Large increases in New Zealand travellers to South Africa following the removal of visa requirements to the country indicate that the time is perfect for Kiwi agents to refresh their knowledge of the destination, says South African Tourism.
African safari specialist Jenman Safaris, predicts 2020 will see a spike in ‘slow and mindful travel’, where travellers can enjoy deeper and more meaningful connections with nature and locals.