To quote the Bajan muse Rihanna, Barbados wants to know “Where Have You Been,” especially come summertime in the Caribbean.
New year-round flights make Barbados more accessible than ever, and hot summer events include the revived Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival and of course the island’s unique take on Carnival, Crop Over, a month-long party that happens every July.
Antigua’s reputation has long been associated with the ultra-rich, home to estates owned by super-celebrities like Eric Clapton and Oprah Winfrey and the island getaway for British royalty, once Princess Diana’s favorite holiday destination. Because of this, many people envision Antigua as an exclusive, sedate island, and it is often overlooked by vacationers, especially families. It is true that Antigua and its sister-island Barbuda are not jam-packed with crowded resorts like many of its Caribbean neighbors, but this is not for a lack of excellent all-inclusives and things to do. Despite its fame, or perhaps as a result of it, Antigua is the best-kept secret in the Caribbean as a family destination where parents can enjoy time together while the kids have a blast, too.
Kenya Airways’ first ever nonstop flight between New York and Nairobi launched last October 28. The daily flights are expected to greatly increase tourism, both in Kenya and other African destinations served by the carrier. I traveled on one of the inaugural flights on a state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Business Class. It was seamless: spacious seats turned into comfortable lie flat beds, food was excellent and the service exceptional.
Travelers are once again feeling Egypt’s draw. Tourism is on the rise, and the country has committed to developing a sustainable tourism plan, by focusing on specific destinations within the country, rather than the country as a whole. This will bring familiarity to the many different regions and tourism experiences that Egypt has to offer. Egypt’s first female Minister of Tourism, Rania Al Mashat, has also announced a campaign called “People to People” which will highlight the citizens of each region, and showcase their pride, peace, passion, progress and positivity.
If your clients are seeking an active vacation in a sunny climate, Belize should be at the top of your list of recommendations. With its Caribbean coastal beach communities offering quick access to the world’s second longest barrier reef, and its rainforest interior filled with ancient Mayan ruins, plus a plethora of adventure activities, water sport lovers, adventure seekers and history buffs will all find what they are looking for.
When people tell me it’s impossible to get lost, I inevitably prove them wrong. On the island of Saõ Miguel, in the Azores, I discover that going astray brings pleasant surprises.
At one unscheduled stop, Ponta da Madrugada (about 1,500 feet above sea level) verdant mountains slither down to the sea. Waves thunder against its steep cliffs.
A group of Azoreans choose this dramatic backdrop for their Sunday outing. They fill the air with singing, clapping, accordion playing, castanets and an instrument that looks like a broken abacus. One dancing lady grabs me and before long, I am one of them. Well, sort of. Being a klutz, I am mostly smashing my partner’s feet. “Obrigada” (thank you), I say to the lady who chose me. She puts her hand on her heart, smiles and says, “nada.”
An Alaskan Husky sled dog’s desire to run is so overwhelming that when you are about to leave on a 5-day expedition, they can feel the excitement in the air. Their barks are deafening. They rear up on their hind legs, paw at the air, even though they are tethered to the earth with a steel anchor. It adds to your excitement for going on a wilderness adventure, far above the Arctic Circle, in Lapland, driving your own personal team of sled dogs across 200 kilometers through some of the most mind-blowingly beautiful land you have ever seen. Well, if you could bark like the dogs, you would too!
Turkish Airlines welcomed Istanbul Airport October 29, 2018. Starting this January, all operations will move from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Airport. Once complete, this will be the world’s largest airport: three times the size of Beijing Airport with six runways, four terminals, a capacity for 2,000 aircraft daily flying to more than 350 destinations and with an annual passenger capacity of about 200 million. The project will be launched in four phases with the final phase completed in 2028. This major hub at the intersection of Asia, Europe and the Middle East will be the world’s largest transfer point. Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) offers service from major US cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Istanbul with connections to its wide ranging international network.