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Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00

Poland: Spa and Wellness

Europe-PolandRich in mineral water springs, Poland is a magnificent place for relaxation because of its numerous spa and wellness centers. Many of them are located in very picturesque surroundings, and they all provide high quality service. The treatment on offer is designed to bring relaxation, harmony and inner balance to clients.

There are many underground hot water springs in Poland: they can be found in three-quarters of Poland’s whole area. Poles appreciate the advantages coming from the construction of spa and wellness centers, as many towns are planning to design and build spas around their hot mineral water springs. The first historical mentions of hot water springs name villages in the Karkonosze Mountains, in southwest Poland, called Lower Silesia, such as Cieplice Slaskie (1137) and Ladek Zdrój (1241). In the 17th century, Polish Queen Marysienka, wife of John III Sobieski took baths there, and the radon water baths are said to have brought relief and warmth to the aching bones of the German Emperor, Wilhelm I.

Published in March - April
Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00

Canadian Rail Adventures

Canada has it all -- magnificent craggy mountains, vast plains, stunning seashores and vibrant cities. And it is a lot easier to get to than Europe. For rail fans it offers one more attraction: great train routes that span the continent from Nova Scotia
to Vancouver.
The VIA Rail system is the perfect way for clients to explore the beauty of our northern neighbor. Most trains operate year-round, offering different experiences in all seasons. Most of the trains include panorama and dome cars for maximum viewing.

Published in March - April
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 00:00

Selling India - Strategies for Travel Agents

 ai135x165Because of its enormity and the diversity of its terrain, infrastructure and culture, travel to India can be an immensely rewarding experience for travelers, and a daunting one for travel planners. Despite its massive appeal, most travelers are not likely to book India on their own, which gives travel agents an incredible opportunity to assist them.

Mimi Campbell, a travel agent with Santa Barbara Travel Bureau has been to India only once, but that was enough for her to come away with a true appreciation for its vibrancy and the warmth of its people. “No matter what,” she says, “your clients are going to have an adventure and see and experience the real culture.” Campbell believes that India is a place for any traveler “who wants to see something out of his comfort zone and out of this world,” noting that her clients come back blown away, with stories of people who fed and cared for them, of spiritual awakenings and desires manifested as if by serendipity. Expect that not everything will go as planned, but know that this unpredictability and the good fortune that often follows is what “will ultimately be the things that travelers remember most.”


Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

South Africa, Life at its fullest


Africa is a country full of life and adventure, a place that awakens all the senses, with new experiences to be found just around any corner. With so much to offer, South Africa is sure to please any travel urge, and is a place of enlightenment and enrichment, sure to put a smile on any face.


Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Jordan: Better Than Ever

Africa-HiltonDeadSeaWe all know it’s pretty tricky to sell the Middle East to a first-time visitor, and with all the unrest happening in the region, it’s harder than ever. There’s one country, however, that has maintained a sense of normalcy, a country that consistently delivers a unique Middle Eastern experience while simultaneously offering a comfortable and safe stay. That country is Jordan. But how to effectively sell this destination? Well, if you look at the facts it’s pretty simple. Jordan is a U.S. ally and possesses a western attitude, blended together with Middle Eastern tradition. Additionally, with English as their second language, maneuvering around the country is quite easy. Its biggest selling point, besides being home to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, is it’s place in biblical history. And if you look at the numbers of other countries visiting there, it’s even easier to sell. The Jordan Tourist Board announced a growth of 20 percent in UK visitor numbers in August 2013 - a record number of visitors for that month. Jordan welcomed 5,707 UK tourists to the country in the month of August 2013 alone, compared to 4,754 during the same month in the previous year.

Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Cambodia, Vietnam & Riches Of The Mekong

ASIA-SEASIAFrom our stateroom balcony on an AmaWaterways river boat, we watched traditional Cambodian boats, long and narrow, float by on the brown muddy water of The Mekong River, captained by men and women in umbrella-shaped Vietnamese hats. We were assured that they really do keep you cooler in the sweltering Southeast Asian heat. It truly felt as if we had gone back in time.

Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Rasta Jamaica Rocks

Caribbean-JamaicaAs any agent worth her (or his) sea salt knows, selling Jamaica in the winter is a breeze, especially when the chilly winds start blowing up north. However, even a perennially popular destination can’t rest on its laurels. To ensure Jamaica stays on the vacation radar, a new slogan and advertising campaign - Jamaica - Get All Right - has been launched by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB). “Our vision is to convey Jamaica as a place where visitors feel an undeniable bond to the destination,” said John Lynch, director of tourism. “A place where they can ‘Get All Right.’"

Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Chiang Mai Attractions

Near southeast Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Sankampaeng Hot Springs’ souvenir stand is crowded with locals purchasing raw eggs. A strange Thai tradition? Not really. They cook the eggs in the springs and have a picnic. 

Most Chiang Mai vacationers visit the most popular attractions, such as the elephant camps, the hill tribes and the magnificent hilltop temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. But Destination Asia guide, Khemruthrai (Kim) Sirsak, shows me hidden gems like the springs, Royal Park Rajapruek, Chiang Mai’s ancient lost city and an Edenesque lunch spot.

Published in January - February
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Turks & Caicos Islands

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
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Beautiful 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
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