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Caribbean-TurksClassy and classic, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are not about big crowds and noisy nights. Sitting extraordinarily pretty southeast of Miami, below the Bahamas and east of the Dominican Republic, the forty islands and cays that make up TCI have come a long way since Club Med opened in the early eighties. The main tourist center of Providenciales, or Provo, is the big draw with Grace Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Diving in the third largest barrier reef in the world, dining at eateries that take food seriously, and celebrating the iconic conch every way imaginable are keeping arrival numbers high. “Many of our visitors are return visitors, but we’re also attracting record numbers of new visitors to our shores,”  said Ralph Higgs, director of tourism.“For a small country, we are extremely popular and are looking forward to a banner year ahead.“

Published in January - February

Latin-Belize
Belize offers two realities: Jungles where you can hear the roar of howler monkeys and stay in rooms that make you feel like you’re at luxury summer camp - where you can disconnect from 24-hour media and other noise pollution, and the glowing aqua shore where you can lean against palm trees on a beach that retains its wild outlines and enjoy a pina colada. Belize offers both those experiences. Start in the jungle with rigorous hiking, biking, swimming, bird watching and other activities and end the trip with relaxation, snorkeling, a fishing excursion perhaps or a trip to a high-end spa.

Published in January - February

Latin-Colombia
Nearly 1,000 cruise industry representatives of 15 major international cruise lines attended the 20th annual conference of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), hosted by Proexport Colombia at the convention center in Cartagena de Indias in September 2013. Also present were members of the U.S. and Latin American press, who toured areas of the country as part of Colombia’s “Magical Realism” campaign.

Published in January - February

Europe-ITALY
Americans are fast becoming aware and choosy about wellness. They practice some “good habits” at home and try now, more than ever, to infuse their vacations with some of the same. According to SpaFinders’ latest surveys, an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they would choose vacations in which they could at least follow a healthy regimen, although not necessarily a hard adventure or extreme sport, but to try not to undo all of their at-home routines. They are looking for balance and enjoyment, but not necessarily excess.

Published in January - February

Europe-SpainMadrid is still the number one destination for American travelers to Spain -- both for tourism and business. Based upon a recent four-day visit, I can appreciate the city’s ongoing popularity.

Since the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus sailed under the auspices of the King and Queen of Spain, the country has left an indelible footprint on world history.

Based on its colonization of Central and South America, the Spanish language is the national language spoken in a dozen countries outside of Spain.

Not only is Madrid one of the world’s most impressive cities with its unique and monumental buildings and museums, its wide boulevards, and impressive parks and gardens, the city offers more than four hundred hotels, including seven with the highly-coveted 5 star rating.

Published in January - February

 

USASand dunes, slot machines, shrimp served up in seemingly endless ways, and Southern hospitality. The Gulf Coast is much more than that, of course, including resiliency and history.

The Gulf Coast suffered mightily from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A storm surge as high as 38-feet in spots reached as far as 12 miles inland from New Orleans and across Mississippi, devastating everything in its path - from high-rise resorts to Antebellum homes and fishing boats. Tourism is as important to the Gulf Coast as shrimping, and the rebuilding began immediately. Today, the numbers for both tourism and fishing are equal, if not ahead, of pre-Katrina.

Published in January - February

 

USA-NY
Ask any New Yorker where to go and they’ll tell you... because there’s no running out of options in this city. Here are a few suggestions from a native.

For better deals on hotels than what you may have already, speak to the GMs of hotels on a Sunday after 4 p.m. (a slightly quieter time) and ask for a lower rate or value-added services.

Depending on the length of stay, suggest your clients purchase a CityPASS (www.citypass.com), which offers free and discounted admission to attractions (Circle Line), sights (including the Statue of Liberty) and museums (including MoMA, the Met and the Guggenheim). 

 

Published in December

Europe porto
In September, I married the only girl I’ve had eyes for since we were kids. It was not a small wedding - both of us being the oldest of our generation, that was out of our hands - and while we relished in all the small details that we knew would make the weekend special for everyone coming, it also became increasingly important to us that we approach our honeymoon differently. It turned out what we both wanted was to be aimless, to burn our guidebooks, to wander without obligation, and to treat ourselves to surprisingly good meals in places we had never read about on the internet.

Published in December

Europe-Corsica

Stretching from northern Africa, Europe and Asia, the Mediterranean Sea has often been referred to as the incubator of Western civilization. At almost 17,000 feet at its deepest point, the sea is home to many islands and exotic ports of call for cruising, relaxing and athletic adventure. From Sicily on the eastern side to Crete on the west, there are many reasons why traveling to the Mediterranean not only offers a beautiful and romantic holiday, but an adventurous one as well. From luxury cruising to adventure biking there are many ways to explore the many coastal cities and beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.

Published in December

Asia-Exterior-Remarkables-Night
Located approximately 900 miles east of Australia, and 600 miles south of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga in the South Pacific, New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is comprised of two large islands, North and South Islands. In an effort to maintain the islands’ cultural identities, the North Island is now also referred to as Te Ika-a-Maui - Fish of Maui, from the ancient Maori legend of Maui and his brothers who were said to have fished up the North Island of New Zealand from their canoe. The South Island is now also known as Te Waipounamu - meaning the place of greenstone. As a whole, the country is divided into 25 regions, each offering its own history, culture and unique points of interest.

Published in December
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