We like to take a view on what's hot and what's not in our industry. From the latest spa trends, to how hotels are attracting new guests, to airlines changing their service style on the ground and in the air, we'll give you a flavour of what's in and out of style, before it actually happens.
There are encouraging signs that the travel and leisure economy is improving after several years treading water. The recent round of luxury shows, ILTM Americas, World Travel Market and PURE, have been highly optimistic, with tour operators, private travel designers and agents all reporting that they have been busier than ever, especially during August, a traditionally quiet summer lull. This isn't just pie in the sky; the numbers seem to prove that consumers are returning and spending more than ever per head on the trip of a lifetime or an adventure to remember. There are also more destinations and new hotels/villas to choose from – as investors pile back in to a sector that keeps on innovating and offering the latest "experience." 2014 promises to bring much-needed rays of sunshine to guests and travel providers alike.
In a recent interview with Stylist Magazine, A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow reminisced on idyllic childhood holidays spent at the White Elephant, Nantucket. Asked if she associates fragrance with certain memories, she said: “For me when I was growing up, some of the happiest times were when we went to a small island called Nantucket off Massachusetts. And we would stay in a in a hotel called the White Elephant and they had box hedging everywhere. It’s such a specific mix of summer and box hedge and whenever I smell that, I’m seven years old again. It’s incredible, it’s a very extreme way of going back in time.”
Read the full article at www.stylist.co.uk
To find out more about the White Elephant visit www.whiteelephanthotel.com.
They tell you to never walk alone on Komodo Island. 9 people have been eaten alive over the years by the unique Komodo Dragons - weird, prehistoric creatures that live off the smell of other animal's, or people's, blood. There are 2,800 dragons scattered across the island. They can move faster than a horse and, when they die, they eat each other. Standing just two metres away from these dragons, you feel highly vulnerable and quite nervous – yet a visit is a must. Staying on Alila Purnama or Tiger Blue is the easiest way to get to the island, combined with a tour of some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the eastern Indonesia archipelago.
Check out Botanique Hotel & Spa – the authentic Brazilian retreat in Campos do Jordao...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5921_xlByeY
Nestling amid the mangroves near Cancun during this week's ILTM Americas conference, it's easy to think all is well in the travel industry. Yet, there are some huge changes taking place. The number of European travellers appears to be declining, especially from Italy and Spain, due to the economic crisis. Encouragingly, the gap is starting to be filled by a new breed of eager guests from the likes of Brazil and Mexico. Residents from these fast-growing markets are seeking new adventures beyond their continent, staying in the innovative hotels of Asia, Africa and Europe. Tourism boards, hoteliers, airlines and cruise operators need to tap into this wave of money quickly – there is a real desire for citizens from south America to travel and spend their new wealth. That means new products need to be introduced to attract this group – for example Tequila bars in hotels, Mexican food on menus etc etc. With Europe's economic hole likely to take some time to fill, the new markets look very exciting indeed.Quoted from: Paul Charles
They don't often make them like this – the Airbus A380 factory in Toulouse has got to be the biggest factory in the world. A380 part after part is lined up for assembly. They currently make over 2 planes per month here but aim to make it 4 or 5 a month when production is in full swing. Eight airlines around the world, Malaysia Airlines being the latest, now fly what's dubbed the most efficient aircraft ever. It certainly helps airlines to cut their fuel bills and provide an even better experience for us travellers – there is so much more space and the windows are huge. The question is – what on earth will ever be able to beat this superjumbo of the skies? I suspect we have a long time to wait.Quoted from: Paul Charles
I've recently returned from a trip to Raja Ampat in North East Indonesia on the Phinisi sailing yacht, Tiger Blue. A land quite literally that time forgot that is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in the world. To get there was no mean feat – we flew from London via Dubai to Jakarta and from there to Makassar in South Sulawesi and to Sorong in Northern Papua. From there we boarded our spectacular steed – an authentic 'liveaboard' that sleeps 10 with a Dutch skipper and superb Indonesian crew. It wasn't just the sensational marine life – the most extensive of any in the world – or the dramatic beauty of the islands that we visited. Or even the innocence and friendliness of the people that we encountered or the freedom of plotting an itinerary as we went along, dropping anchor one night here to catch a sunset or travelling in the early morning to see the turtles on a northerly island. It was quadrupled in value for me, being able to enjoy it without the non-stop yapping intrusion of a mobile phone or watching the gradual downloading of emails that insist on being answered. This must be one of the few places left in the world that you cannot get wifi nor mobile phone signal and for 5 whole days and nights, it was total silent bliss. It was a chance to simply enjoy and actually ignore the outside world rather than taking a sneeky view on news websites for even soundbites of info on what the world is doing. In Raja Ampat, it simply didn’t matter and after 48 hours we all stopped to even care. This was pure unadulterated, innocent and uncomplicated enjoyment. Tiger Blue, you are possibly the most superb medicine from everyday life and a reminder that sometimes the simpler life is, the better.Quoted from: Julia Perowne
Jude Law and Dior shoot at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. He's quite the ambassador… http://www.dior.com/beauty/fra/fr/minisite/fragrance/dhs_2012/tf561-2.html
The government's decision to expand the UK's high-speed rail network is a costly one, but it does makes sense. At £32 billion, this won't be the cheapest train set but it will shave journey times between London and Birmingham initially, and then Manchester and Leeds. Yes, environmental concerns need to be listened to but high-speed lines do boost regional economies and improve the country's infrastructure – badly needed in the UK. France, Spain and Germany have railways to be proud of because they have invested in high-speed rail. For travellers, it makes for better, more reliable journeys too. The only problem is it's such a long way off – 2026 at the earliest!Quoted from: Paul Charles
The dramatic collapse in confidence for Thomas Cook highlighted the changing world for tour operators and travel agents. Consumers are turning their backs on high-street outlets and booking directly with their own iPads and smartphones. Consumers research their own hotels and airlines these days and then think they can book their whole holiday. This may work in some cases but it can be a dangerous game. Tour operators, especially niche players who are highly-focused on their target market, come into their own during major incidents such as the ash cloud crisis – when they can quickly and efficiently switch customers onto other flights or into different hotels. There will also always be a need for a tour operator who can manage a more complicated booking, such as for a group or for a special occasion. So, while the giants of the industry will need to shake-up their operations and restructure to survive, there will always be a place for the smaller operator who can be nimble and flexible, and offer great service when we most need it in times of trouble.Quoted from: Paul Charles
New Zealand remains a dream Gap Year destination boasting the coolest festivals, most adrenalin-tastic experiences, world-class ‘silver screen’ locations and stunning natural beauty and wildlife.
Tourism New Zealand says UK visitor numbers in the first half of 2013 were up 3.3%. Globally, there has been an increase in international visitor arrivals.
Whilst the UK basked in sunshine during the July heatwave, leading ski specialists Scott Dunn bucked the trend by witnessing a surge in ski enquiries for the forthcoming 2013/14 ski season.
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has made a significant addition to its suite of digital marketing channels, with the launch of its first mobile app - 'Essential New Zealand'.
Eric Frechon, the award-winning three-Michelin star chef at Le Bristol Paris, is to bring his signature dishes to London for three days only this October.
Bruce Palling, the Wall Street Journal Europe’s highly-respected food columnist, is joining PCC – Perowne Charles Communications to set up the consultancy’s new Food and Drink Division.
Possibly the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand's diverse and dramatic landscapes offer visitors every holiday they could ever want in one destination.
Leading cruise operator Silversea, renowned for its ultra-luxurious ships and exotic destinations, has announced that it will start 2015, with an exceptional voyage.
India specialist Ampersand announces the ultimate culinary journey through the culturally diverse north, east, south and west of India.
Christina O, the iconic superyacht where John F Kennedy first met Winston Churchill, has been put up for sale for €25million via Edmiston, one of the leading specialists in the yacht sector.
On 2 July Malaysia Airline celebrated the 1st anniversary of its Airbus A380 operation between London Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur.
One of Latin America’s most exciting new hotel openings will be unveiled this December on the dramatic Papagayo Peninsula on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Dynamic travel and leisure PR consultancy, PCC, is setting up a sales and marketing division so it can represent hotels and other clients for all of their communications and sales needs.
This July marks the launch of the Water Garden at the award-winning Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds – an exclusive development designed for the very best.
Alila Villas Uluwatu has signed an agreement with the R.O.L.E. Foundation to provide onsite hospitality training for the students of the Bali WISE Vocational Skills Course.
Malaysia Airlines has just launched the sale of the summer for those hoping to pick up some last minute savings for travel Down Under.
Edmiston, the leading superyacht company, has commissioned the construction of a spectacular new 57 metre Feadship.
Situated in the heart of one of Europe’s most significant nature reserves, Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds is bringing city chic to the countryside by unveiling a superb new weekend spa break.
As if anyone needed another reason to visit the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, it now introduces a glamorous new experience for it’s devoted clientele in 2013 – the ‘Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge’.
Ampersand Travel has created ‘The China Selection’, giving clients the lowdown on China with a carefully selected Little Black Book of what to do, where to avoid and of course, the very best-of-the-best places to stay.
Discreetly located beneath Camino San Pablo, and built amid the brick vaults, Copa de Cava will offer the widest range of cavas in London with 28 different types.
The Aeroboat, one of the fastest and most elegant small yachts ever produced, is perfect for anyone wanting to breakfast in St. Tropez and dine at night in Monaco.
Malaysia Airlines will commence a daily Airbus A380 service on the Kuala Lumpur - Hong Kong route effective 1 May 2013, offering UK passengers a daily A380 connection from London Heathrow through to Hong Kong.
Fraser, Hamilton and Dunk are all islands that are known to UK travellers but how about Lord Howe, Haggerstone and Orpheus for a spot of island hopping? Leading tour operator Scott Dunn picks out some of the lesser known Australian island experiences.
Whilst the endless cold snap in the UK is starting to wear thin, it’s a different story for European ski resorts, which are benefitting from the best and most consistent snowfall in a generation.
You can enjoy the Festival with your own luxury tent in an English vineyard, tickets, interstage passes, private shuttle transport, meals, and pamper pack.
Leading boutique Asian hotelier Alila Hotels & Resorts will more than double its portfolio of boutique hotels and resorts by 2015, with ambitious plans to add up to 10 new properties in the next two years.
The Oetker Collection of masterpiece hotels has made two significant promotions to new roles within the senior leadership team, as it continues its strong expansion.
Historic Villa Egerton - the ultimate location for private entertaining on the French Riviera - is now available to rent for the first time after a complete restoration
One of the UK’s finest country estates with a family-run historic luxury castle hotel, located in the heart of North Yorkshire
India’s leading luxury hotel chain, ITC Hotels has launched its majestic luxury hotel in Chennai; the ITC Grand Chola. The 600-room super premium integrated luxury hotel complex is the latest addition to ITC’s portfolio of luxury hotels, accredited as the World’s largest* LEED® Platinum rated Green hotel.