Belize remains one of Latin America’s lesser-known destinations and one of its best kept secrets. From beaches to rainforests, from Mayan ruins to the world’s second largest barrier reef, Belize has a plethora of offerings for the outdoor and soft adventure enthusiast. What your clients won’t find in Belize are large, name-brand resorts. What they will find are smaller, most often family run, more intimate hotels, inns and lodges offering a high level of personalized service. To me, the real appeal of Belize is its compact size and the ability to combine both sides of its tourism product, coastline and rainforest interior, in a one-week trip.
Holding onto a raft through level three and four rapids, while spotting orioles jumping from branch to branch, is one way to find relaxation. Another is taking a lazy, day-long excursion on the sea with plenty of time for swimming, snorkeling and fishing. In Costa Rica, both the adventurous and languorous sides of relaxation are easy to find. Interspersed with these activities, the country’s rich cultural history can be experienced, from museums in the capital, San Jose, to visits with indigenous cacao growers in the country.
Whether it’s fairy-tale castles or Bavarian beer fests, cuckoo clocks or a celebration steeped in centuries of history, Germany is rich in local traditions that your clients can be a part of. And the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) will be supporting your efforts as you plan trips that include these time-honored folk festivals, Christmas markets, regional dishes, traditional dress, handcrafts, music and culture. Based on surveys showing that a region’s traditions and history are among the top criteria international visitors consider when choosing a vacation destination, the GNTB has put the Traditions and Customs theme at the center of its 2015 global sales and marketing activities.
Panoramic views of waters ranging between royal blue and turquoise amid the archeological ruins of ancient Greece and Turkey is hard to top-unless, of course, you’re experiencing all this with a cruise ship as your base. JAX FAX visited seven Greek islands, Turkish ports and Athens on Louis Cruises in July, seeing first-hand the local culture, quaint island villages, ancient ruins and swimming in the pristine Aegean Sea. The seven-day Louis Cruises’ Idyllic Aegean cruise program was experienced onboard the Louis Cristal, a 480-cabin ship with two restaurants, two bars, a cafe, casino and amenities like a pool and jacuzzi, gym, spa and massage room, duty free shop and medical center. With so many excursions at each port to experience, however, it is the destination that takes center stage.
Here’s the scoop on Croatia. The country has fabulous ice cream. Don’t worry about the calories. You’ll burn them off climbing the steep cliffs along the scenic Dalmatian Coast or walking the national park paths and the medieval cobblestone streets. One thing you need to know: those ancient towns like Sibenik (pronounced Shiv-n-eek) and Split are stony and steep with lots of steps. Exploring them is like working out on a Middle Ages Stairmaster. But do it, because they are fascinating places.
Before the Sunshine State transformed into a dream destination of 825 miles of diverse beaches, family fun attractions, culinary spots, scenic highways, cultural venues, world-renowned hotels, sporting events, and nature trails, attracting some 95 million visitors a year, it was the playground of wealthy northerners who figured out this place had natural beauty, and some thought its waters were curative.
Today, Florida is a lot more than its beaches and amusement parks. Each area has its own particular appeal, ranging from the subtropical Florida Keys and Key West, to a world-class art scene in St. Petersburg/Clearwater, to off-the-beaten-track hideaways like Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands on the southwest coast, halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers.
Hotelbeds, the top global business-to-business bedbank, recently hosted its 6th annual MarketHub Americas trade forum. Over 600 travel suppliers and distributors from the main sectors of the American travel industry gathered at the two-day event, held at Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace, for current insights on key tourism trends and updates on the Spanish-based accommodation wholesaler.
Singapore, 9 July 2014 – Euromic, one of the world’s most expansive group of destination management companies, is now on board IT&CM India 2014.
Executive Director, Christophe Verstraete said, “India is the third fastest growing global economy, and well positioned for an un-paralleled development within the travel and tourism sector. As Indian companies look for business opportunities around the world, outbound business travel and MICE are estimated to be expanding at a greater pace than leisure.”
Small hotels have always been part of New York’s hospitality mix. But in 1984, the first boutique hotel appeared in the city when Ian Schrager, of Studio 54 discotheque fame, opened Morgans Hotel, still a stylish Midtown fixture.
Ranging from about 100-200 rooms, boutique hotels typically offered three-to-five star luxury, personalized service and upscale furnishings. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, designer-decorated boutique hotels ran the gamut from minimalist with all-white interiors to phantasmagorical with velvet trappings, outsize gilded mirrors and eye-popping art.
With broad stretches of blue sea, calm turquoise bays where stylish mega-yachts shelter beside colorful old fishing boats, exclusive seaside resorts and sleepy bougainvillea-draped villages, Turkey’s Aegean Coast draws thousands of sun seekers each year. Home to some of the Mediterranean’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s also a mecca for culture and history buffs.