History-rich Croatia is the tourist friendly star of southern Europe. With charming cities, a fascinating coastline, and a rich variety of scenery, the only major concern travel planners face is how much can be sensibly included in
It is over 90 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The amazing Acropolis ruins glow atop a hill in Athens. I stand among them and close my eyes to ignore the sweaty crowds and imagine being greeted by some guy in sandals and a toga. I want him to tell me how these rocks were schlepped up this steep hill and carved into this magnificent, 5th century B.C city.
With two major historical anniversaries - 25 years since German reunification, and the build-up to the 2017 celebration marking Martin Luther’s launching of the Reformation in 1517 - there’s a lot of reason to visit Germany. The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is there with tourism initiatives and campaigns to help you plan trips for your clients. www.germany.travel
Once President Obama signed the Joint Plan of Action with Iran on July 14, 2015, public perception of Iran changed dramatically. Travel sanctions were lifted (not without warnings) as did the veil of negative perceptions. Iran has recaptured the attention of globetrotters who’ve been waiting to tick it off their bucket list. Tourism is an important government directive in Iran. According to sources, the country is investing to invigorate tourism, in contrast to the past. Recent statistics indicate a 40 percent rise in tourism since 2014.
There is a cadence in a giraffe’s walk that makes it appear as though they are keeping time to music in their heads. They nod and lope along to a slow rhythmic beat and gently bob their long graceful necks. I think they might be the most beautiful of all the animals in Kenya. On Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha they are the stars of the show because they allow you to get very close and observe them. Walking here, unencumbered by the confines of a safari jeep, it feels as if you are on a film set for Out of Africa. Indeed, these very creatures could be the offspring of the African animals that starred in that 1985 classic movie; it was filmed right here on this 8 acre island.
Interest in cruises on Asia’s rivers has been fueled by clients who either have “been there, done that” and/or want something more exotic than the usual European river experience. The demand is being met with added ships - many, if not most, have been specifically built to sail the region - as well as expanded itineraries. Also noteworthy: the level of luxury has been kicked up substantially with such features as spas, fully equipped fitness centers, butlers and menus created by celebrity chefs.
India always promises a fascinating journey. Majestic palaces, ancient temples and forts punctuate the diverse terrain. The riot of colors, flavors, aromas and sounds that make up everyday life are unforgettable. Cars, sacred cows and three wheeled tuk-tuk moto-taxis share the streets with food carts and pedestrians in turbans, business suits, dhotis and saris. With outstanding accommodations, top destination spas, excellent cuisine and famous sights, there’s something for everyone.
A perennial favorite for destination weddings, selling romance in the Caribbean is a breeze. With weddings the biggest ticket in June, couples are looking for creative ways to keep the spark alive while travel agents are looking to say “I Do” to their share of a lucrative market.
Cuba - land of Castro and 55 years of communist rule. Cuba conjures up images of vintage US cars, cigars, rum and Ricky Ricardo. Long a forbidden fruit to the US traveler, things are changing quickly.
Rules for travel by US citizens to Cuba have been relaxed and it is projected that scheduled air service from the US to Cuba will resume in November of this year.
The French Caribbean overseas islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique became easily accessible from Baltimore, Boston and New York with the inauguration of direct flights by Norwegian Air in December. One of Europe’s best budget and most environmentally friendly fleet, Norwegian’s new Boeing 737-800s carries 186 passengers safely to the two islands. In April Norwegian Air added Sunday flights to its existing thrice-weekly service.