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Posted In: The 365 Guide

Lead Generation Through Social Media: Twitter Chats

Social media excels at relationship building at a very personal level.  To effectively use any of the social media platforms as a vehicle for pulling leads through the sales funnel, it is important to develop a very subtle and deft approach to your conversational skills.  A constant stream of travel offers or direct sales pitches is far too awkward an approach.  Instead, tenor your conversations to being helpful to others and providing information and assistance they need.  In so doing, your expertise will be apparent and you are likely to be in the running for consideration the next time your readers consider travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Do I Really Need to be on Twitter?

It’s the monkey on my back. That nagging feeling that creeps its way into my thoughts whenever I’m online. It’s the pressure in my stomach I feel whenever I’m out with friends.

Why don’t we have a Facebook page yet?” says a colleague.

Ten Reasons Why Your Company Needs to Have a Blog!” shouts the email.

Uncle Frank just found a new client on Twitter. Why aren’t you Tweeting?” asks my mom. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

I’m a convert. For months now I have been shaking my head. I didn’t get Twitter. Who wants to know what everyone in the world is doing right now? How about Now? Now? Not me. But during my research for this article I saw the light. I’m not about to say that Twitter would be my first choice for a social marketing platform for every travel agent, but the potential is obvious and for the most ambitious of you, worth a hard look.

Twitter is often referred to as “micro-blogging.” Twitter allows friends, family, and co–workers to communicate through the exchange of short messages. The writer will post a short update, called a “tweet”. Each message must be 140 characters or fewer. URLs can be embedded in a post, and many use http://www.tinyurl.com/ to shorten the length of the URL. Twitter posts the message to your profile and then sends the message to your “Followers”.  Messages can not be edited, but can be deleted. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Anti-cruising protests break out in Europe

anti-cruise protests
VENICE, ITALY – JUNE 13: “No Grandi Navi” (No big ships)

The cruise industry appears to be booming with 99% of ships sailing and with demand way up since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, the end of the CDC’s reporting program for ships, and the cessation of many of the vaccination protocols both on ships and in ports of call.

However, cruise lines now find themselves up against a rising tide of anti-cruise sentiment in Europe. Protesters are confronting passengers in some ports as the tourists disembark for shore excursions. The protesters complain about the crowds brought by the ships which are perceived as overwhelming the streets of cities like Dubrovnik, Venice, and Barcelona while spending very little money on food, goods, and services in those same locales.

Protests broke out in Norway this week at five different ports of call, with protesters confronting cruise passengers protesting the “environmental and social damage” caused by cruising. The protests are led by the anti-cruise group CruiseNotwelcome. Protesters and academics alike argue the cruise industry is a major source of environmental pollution. Posters in the Norwegian ports of call point out the cruise ships are registered under foreign flags, pay no local taxes, and flood the streets of the port towns.

Similar protests and issues have arisen in the United States, most notably in Key West.

In response to such criticisms, the cruise industry is undertaking major sustainability initiatives. In January of this year, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released its “2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook Report”. The report asserts the cruise industry has implemented progressive protocols and points to the value of cruise tourism to both local and national economies worldwide, and acknowledges and plots a course to achieving carbon neutrality.

Posted In: Press Releases

Guests Will Earn Up to $2,000 Concierge Credit on Luxury Villa Rental Bookings through the End of July

Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company that provides customized villa experiences, has launched a limited-time offer providing travelers with the opportunity to attain a credit of up to $2,000 that can be used on experiences or services booked through the company’s concierge team. The promotion will be applied to any new bookings made throughout the month of July 2022 with a check-in date occurring before December 31, 2023.

Sauna“Through our personalized luxury concierge services, we open the door to a world of exclusive experiences where our guests can embrace their most desired vacation pursuits,” said Willie Fernandez, chief marketing officer of Rental Escapes. “We encourage our guests to work with their travel advisors to book their dream vacation and learn about the variety of experiences that await through our unmatched concierge team.”

 

 

Whether looking for ultimate relaxation or adrenaline-rushing adventures, travelers can embark on their next vacation and look forward to utilizing their concierge credit for experiences ranging from white water rafting in Papagayo, Costa Rica, or sailing through the sunset in Key West, Florida, to indulging in extravagant meals made by private chefs around the world or enjoying in-villa massages followed by private yoga instruction. Not only will Rental Escapes’ guests receive credit for luxurious adventures, but they will also enjoy the ease of planning through Rental Escapes’ trusted concierge team and the unrivaled support of the valued travel advisor community.

For more information on Rental Escapes, visit RentalEscapes.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by following Rental Escapes on Facebook Facebook.com/RentalEscapes, Instagram @RentalEscapes, Twitter @RentalEscapes and LinkedIn.

Posted In: Top Headlines

 

Weather Map

The UK Met Office, the national meteorological service for the United Kingdom, yesterday issued the first “Red Extreme heat wave alert” ever issued in the UK. The Met Office was forecasting a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) next week, with temperatures likely in the high 30’s in many areas.

See updates on Twitter:

The Red Extreme heat warning covered July 18th and 19th for central, northern, eastern, and southeastern England. An Amber Extreme warning was already in place for much of England and Wales for the 17th – 19th.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen, said “Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday. Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40°C and 80% we will see a new maximum temperature reached. Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”

The previous record high in the UK was 38.7 degrees Celsius at the Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July in 2019. Temperatures were predicted to begin to fall to a more normal range toward the middle of next week.

The Transport for London office advised residents and visitors to only travel if essential on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July, due to very high temperatures

Andy Lord, Chief Operating Officer, TfL said: “Due to the exceptionally hot weather that is expected next week, customers should only use London’s transport network for essential journeys. If customers do need to travel, they should check before they travel as we are expecting there to be some impact to Tube and rail services as a result of temporary speed restrictions we will need to introduce to keep everyone safe. It is also vital that customers always carry water at all times with them when traveling.”

Posted In: Press Releases

Villa

Full-Service Luxury Villa Company Encourages Booking of Holiday Travel Now to Secure Availability in Top Destinations

Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company specializing in providing unparalleled private villa rentals worldwide, today shared its selection of the top 10 luxury villa rentals for the holiday season. For some, the holidays are a time for gathering family and friends next to a twinkling Christmas tree or toasty fireplace. For others, it’s a time to soak up some sunshine while relaxing next to a gorgeous pool or on a pristine beach. Based on booking demand for this December, Rental Escapes has identified that luxury travelers are increasingly eyeing luxury villa rentals across the globe to offer the ultimate holiday vacation for the whole family.

“As the holidays are notably the busiest two weeks of the year, we recommend travelers book now for the December season,” says Willie Fernandez, chief marketing officer of Rental Escapes. “This year in particular we have seen a 30% increase in bookings for the holiday season in the first five months of the year when compared to 2019 and 2021. Some destinations have even been completely booked since the first 90 days of 2022.”

In addition to pristine accommodations that can house the entire extended family for the holidays, Rental Escapes offers a concierge service that works to ideate unique, niche experiences for guests. From an in-home performance of The Nutcracker, breakfast with Santa Claus, or a private shopping experience with a personal shopper to a multi-course holiday meal cooked by a world-renowned chef, a sleigh ride through a snowy holiday village, or a villa decked out in holiday décor, the concierge service is able to dream up endless special touches and make it come to life during guests’ stays.

To help travelers plan their festive holiday getaways, Rental Escapes has developed a list of the top 10 luxury villa rentals that offer something for everyone to fulfill the holiday season of their dreams:

  1. Porters Villa – Porters, Barbados

Porters VillaNestled within a 23-acre estate, Porters Villa offers an enchanting tropical holiday escape. Guests can adventure through the expansive property, splash in the estate pool surrounded by a mahogany grove or enjoy a freshly cooked sea-to-table holiday meal in the beautiful dining room.

 

 

 

 

  1. Chalet Izar – Courchevel, France

Chalet IzarNestle up with the entire family around this villa’s massive fireplace while enjoying jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountain range. With an indoor pool, sauna, theater, and mountain views from most rooms, guests will never want to leave this decked-out holiday oasis.

 

 

 

 

  1. La Datcha – Pedregal, Los Cabos

La DatchaSwap sleds for kayaks and reindeer for sea turtles at this outdoor haven on Mexico’s Pacific coast. This villa, which can easily accommodate 20 guests, is located just seconds from the ocean, allowing guests the opportunity to surf (Santa suit optional) or witness majestic blue humpback whales from the comfort of the infinity pool.

 

 

 

  1. Moon Rider Ski Chalet – Big Sky, Montana

Moon Rider Ski ChaletEnjoy a holiday escape in a modern log cabin decked out with a massive evergreen in the tall entry way. With access to the slopes, everyone will want to spend the day on the mountain. Celebrate the new year with a midnight lantern ski run while fireworks erupt above.

 

 

 

 

  1. Promiseas – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

PromiseasEnjoy complete paradise in these two luxury villas that make up the Promiseas campus. With two highly trained chefs, three butlers, two housekeepers, and an entertainment coordinator, a holiday spent here will be a relaxing escape the whole family can enjoy. Kids can enjoy a festive sandman making contest on the beach while adults can relax with an oceanfront massage while the property’s chefs prepare a decadent multi-course holiday meal.

 

 

 

  1. The Treehouse – Telluride, Colorado

The TreehouseLocated just a few minutes from the storybook village of Telluride, this timber treehouse offers an exclusive mountain escape for a picturesque holiday vacation. After a day spent on the iconic slopes, guests can return to their spacious villa to watch the sun paint the mountain gold before caroling through the small town.

 

 

 

 

  1. Enchanted at Reunion Resort – Reunion Resort, Florida

Enchanted at Reunion ResortWith over 10,000 square feet of living space, this palace comfortably fits 30, making it the ideal holiday getaway for a multigenerational family. For those looking to spend the day at Walt Disney World®, this villa is the perfect destination to come home to with rooms fit for Kings and Queens and imaginative bedrooms for little ones. Guests can make the holidays even more memorable with a character brunch right inside their rental.

 

 

 

  1. Chalet la Forja – Whistler, British Columbia

Chalet la ForjaKnown as one of the most prestigious rentals in all of Whistler, this luxurious home offers a wintry escape to mountainous wonderlands full of ski slopes, sleigh rides, and hot cocoa. Guests can venture just outside the door to choose their very own Christmas tree to be cut down and brought inside. This 12-person home is the ideal respite for a grand holiday away.

 

 

 

 

  1. Belharra Estate – Vitet, St. Barts

BelharraCelebrate the holidays in sunshine at Belharra Estate in St. Barts. With hints of red throughout the villa, the festive spirit will be kept alive even in a warm environment. Ring in the new year while watching a private firework show from one of the two pools on property and stay up to watch the first sunrise of the new year over the picturesque sea.

 

 

 

 

  1. Snowflake Villa – Park City, Utah

Snowflake VillaRetreat to a snow-globe like town this holiday season for a day spent on the iconic ski trails or shopping on the luxurious main street. In partnership with Ski Butler, this home offers ease and a stress-free vacation as ski and snowboard equipment is delivered upon arrival and gear is helped inside each day. At night, guests can relax with a holiday movie marathon in the in-home theater or with a glass of champagne in the hot tub while snow lightly falls.

 

 

 

With more than 5,000 luxury villa rentals in 70 destinations worldwide, guests are certain to find their ideal holiday escape with Rental Escapes. The company’s team of highly trained villa specialists is dedicated to assisting guests with creating their ultimate, customized vacation experiences.

For more information on Rental Escapes, visit RentalEscapes.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by following Rental Escapes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

About Rental Escapes

Rental Escapes is a full-service luxury villa company that prides itself in providing top-notch personalized service and unforgettable villa experiences. The company offers a hand-picked selection of more than 5,000 carefully vetted and curated luxury villa rentals in 70 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, the United States and beyond. Its team of highly trained villa specialists assist guests and travel advisors in planning and booking the ideal villa stay. In addition, every reservation is provided with a concierge service to take care of arranging everything from private chefs to boat charters.

Posted In: Press Releases

American Cruise Lines ship

American Cruise Lines explores the Mississippi River like no one else—offering unique cruise experiences along the length of the river, from St. Paul to New Orleans—also cruising the famous Mississippi tributaries, the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. This week, the company’s newest riverboat, American Melody, is headed north on the Mississippi, where it will begin seasonal Upper Mississippi River cruises between St. Louis and St. Paul. The company is also offering Complimentary domestic airfare for late July and August Upper Mississippi cruise departures aboard American Melody. Currently, the new riverboat is underway along the longest river cruise itinerary in the country, American’s 22-day Complete Mississippi River itinerary, from New Orleans, LA, to St. Paul, MN. 

With over 10 different Mississippi itineraries, American’s guests experience the rich history and classic American mystique embodied by the Mississippi, as they explore the charming towns, distinct cultures, 

and colorful characters that give life to the country’s most vital and storied waterway. Cruises include a range of cultural experiences, from literary inspired visits to Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal, MO, to more active experiences, like a Cajun Pride Swamp Adventures in Baton Rouge, LA. Throughout the cruises, guests enjoy curated onboard entertainment and lectures, as well as small-group-guided adventures each day on shore. 

10 Different Carefully Curated Itineraries 

American offers several delightful 8-day cruises along both the Upper and Lower Mississippi, departing from many of its most famous port cities like Memphis, New Orleans, Nashville, St. Louis, St. Paul, and more. American offers unparalleled longer itineraries, including a 22-day Complete Mississippi cruise and a 15-day Grand Heartland cruise—both enable guests to cruise the entire Mississippi—exploring 10 states in a single journey. American also offers shorter 5-day Highlights cruises, seasonal Holiday cruises, and exceptional Theme cruises—carefully crafted both on board and on shore to celebrate iconic Mississippi themes, from Mark Twain cruises to Music cruises, to Culinary cruises featuring Cajun, Creole, and classic Memphis BBQ. 

Four new riverboats to choose from: 

American Cruise Lines is the only domestic line to offer 2 styles of riverboat for explorations along the Mississippi—classic paddlewheelers and new modern American riverboats. American’s modern riverboats are the newest in the country and the company’s beautiful classic paddlewheel fleet has just been completely renovated and redecorated for 2022. On all American’s riverboats, guests enjoy an all-inclusive experience, and relax in spacious 100% outward-facing staterooms, nearly all with private furnished balconies. In August 2022, the company will introduce a 5th new riverboat for the Mississippi, American Symphony. 

Special Pre-Cruise Packages: 

All American’s Mississippi River itineraries include Complimentary Pre-Cruise Hotel Stays, including concierge luggage and transportation services in every departure city. Also offered are longer pre-cruise packages like the Line’s exceptional Graceland Pre-Cruise Package, which includes 2 nights in Memphis at the Guest House Hotel (right next door to Graceland), Graceland ticket with special presentation, a Memphis City Tour, and transportation to the ship. 

Complimentary & Flat Rate Domestic Airfare: 

There has never been a better time to cruise close to home and fly free. American now offers Flat Rate Domestic Airfare for all its domestic cruises, and for a limited time, the company is also offering Complimentary Airfare on select Upper Mississippi River cruises between St. Louis, MO and St. Paul, MN; summer departures with Complimentary Air are aboard American Melody: 7/29/22, 8/5/22, 8/12/22, 8/19/22, & 8/26/22. 

Learn more at: www.AmericanCruiseLines.com 

Follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/americancruiselines 

Follow us on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/American_Cruise 

Posted In: Press Releases

Full-Service Luxury Villa Company Helps Travel Advisors Earn Up to $2,500 on Every Booking All Month Long

Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company specializing in providing unparalleled private villa rentals worldwide, today announced the launch of a new bonus commission program.  In celebration of the company’s valued travel advisor partners, thanking them for their hard work, continued support and incredible dedication as travel continues to bounce back, Rental Escapes will offer a bonus commission of up to $2,500 on every booking made this June.

Rental Escapes’ bonus commission offer is valid on bookings made June 1-30, 2022 for stays between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023. In addition to outstanding earning potential on luxury vacations, travel advisors working with Rental Escapes have access to various tools to grow their business including training videos, a dedicated villa specialist, and a concierge team to assist with providing around the clock care for guests. Banding together with a villa specialist and concierge team helps advisors offer the personalization and elevated, unique experiences that travelers are increasingly seeking for the most unforgettable vacations.

With a rapidly expanding portfolio of premium vacation properties around the world, Rental Escapes’ villa specialists and concierge team are trained to assist travel advisors searching for the ultimate luxury villa rental for their clients. Their team of experts are able to combine extensive product knowledge with personal service, hand-picking from a highly curated selection of more than 5,000 luxury villas globally and organizing personalized experiences for travel advisors and their clients, including private charter boats and yachts, personal chefs, helicopter tours, cultural excursions, in-villa spa services and more.

“Travel advisors have been essential to our business and valued partners since our inception ten years ago,” says Willie Fernandez, chief marketing officer of Rental Escapes. “As the travel industry rebounds, luxury villas continue to welcome travelers in increasing numbers, given the premium space, comfort and service they provide.  We are committed to offering travel advisors the very best tools they need to feel equipped for success. And, with special offers like this, we are excited to celebrate the valuable role they play in our industry with the ability to increase their earning potential.”

For more information on Rental Escapes, visit RentalEscapes.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by following Rental Escapes on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Rental Escapes

Rental Escapes is a full-service luxury villa company that prides itself in providing top-notch personalized service and unforgettable villa experiences. The company offers a hand-picked selection of more than 5,000 carefully vetted and curated luxury villa rentals in 70 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, the United States and beyond. Its team of highly trained villa specialists assist guests and travel advisors in planning and booking the ideal villa stay. In addition, every reservation is provided with a concierge service to take care of arranging everything from private chefs to boat charters.

 

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Managing a business is hard. We all know that. And it is frustrating when our efforts to manage the business fall short—as they sometimes do. Hopefully, you can learn from the mistakes I, and others, have made when it comes to social media. When I first entered the industry, all the airlines were still paying uncapped commissions. So, I have had plenty of opportunities to stumble and fall.  Here are my best suggestions to keep you on your feet in the social realm! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

 

Tara_Air_Twin_Otter_in_Jomsom

Tara Air DHC-6 Twin Otter | Wikimedia Commons

 

A Tara Air aircraft 9N-AET, DHC-6 TWIN OTTER, en route to Jomsom from Pokhara with 19 passengers and 3 crew aboard has gone missing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

Via Rail Canada sign, at the train station. Ottawa, Canada. June 13, 2021

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is proud to remain the most trusted transportation company in Canada for the fourth consecutive year according to the 2022 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), published by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.

In addition to having obtained a better ranking than last year, VIA Rail performed as one of the best employers for employee recognition ranking sixth out of 402 brands in the study.

“As we approach the almost complete resumption of our services planned in June 2022, we are very proud to have been awarded this title for a fourth consecutive year despite the circumstances that have affected the transportation industry for over two years now,” said Martin R Landry, Chief Commercial Affairs Officer. “Determined to always go further together and driven by our mission to put our passengers first, the results of this ranking show that VIA Rail stands out as a transportation provider. I would like to thank all of our passengers for their continued trust throughout the pandemic, as well as our employees for the outstanding service they offer every day from coast to coast to coast.”

Besides a brand’s functional performance (quality, reliability, value for money) and the experience it offers, this study reveals that consumers also have a keen interest in the social responsibility and values of a brand. VIA Rail has been working for several years to reimagine the travel experience of its passengers, for a more modern, accessible and sustainable passenger rail service. Whether through its modernization program or its recently unveiled accessibility and sustainability plans, it’s time for VIA Rail to embody a vehicle for change in Canada.

About the Gustavson Brand Trust Index

To establish the Gustavson Brand Trust Index, the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business completed a survey of close to 9,200 Canadians to learn about their perception of various brands in terms of their performance and social responsibility, among other things.

About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional, and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.

Follow VIA Rail
Twitter @VIA_rail
Facebook viarailcanada
Instagram @viarailcanada
VIA: the blog

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Posted In: Crossings

American Cruise Line Ship

American Cruise Lines announced today that the 2022 river cruise season on the Columbia and Snake Rivers has begun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Havana, Cuba downtown skyline.

The United States will ease some of the Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, the Biden Administration, in line with campaign promises, announced on Monday. The U.S. will allow some charter and commercial fights to airports other than Havana and reinstate educational travel but not yet the “people to people” program. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Air Traffic Controllers in Jamaica went on strike for several hours on Thursday, resulting in the cancellation of dozens of flights, forced to turn around mid-flight or canceled at their points of departure. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

AMAWaterways Cruise Ship

Exceptional Demand Leads Luxury River Cruise Line to Add Additional Opportunities for Guests to Experience the Beauty of Portugal

Luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways today announced that it has extended its 2022 and 2023 Portugal river cruising season with 14 additional sailings round trip from Porto onboard AmaDouro.  With cruises available through the end of December, guests now have the opportunity to experience the joys of this popular destination in the early winter season with temperate weather, fewer crowds, and charming Christmas markets, complemented by stunning landscape and delectable food and wine tasting experiences.

“Full of rich culture, inspiring architecture, and enticing cuisine, our Portugal sailings have always been extremely popular. This demand inspired us to extend both our 2022 and 2023 season until the end of December, giving guests another reason to travel and experience all that Portugal has to offer during this special time of year,” said Kristin Karst, co-founder and executive vice president of AmaWaterways. “The extended season opens up a new opportunity for our travel partners to reserve groups to visit Portugal’s festive Christmas markets, delightful vineyards, and historic sites during this quieter period!”

 

Sailing onboard the spectacular AmaDouro, the extension of the 2022 and 2023 season in Portugal includes additional dates for AmaWaterways’ Enticing Douro itinerary – a seven-night roundtrip from Porto river cruise along the Douro River Valley. Throughout the itinerary, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic cultural experiences with a variety of included small-group shore excursions, such as:

  • A visit to the tranquil village of Entre-os-Rios where they will enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch at a local Quinta (a country estate)
  • A step back in time as they stroll through the historical city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • A guided hike of Porto, followed by a tasting of Port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine

Portugal is known for its mild winters that make it a magical destination during the pre-Christmas period. Those wishing to extend their time in the destination can add three nights in Lisbon pre-cruise, including a tour of the city and a morning excursion to Serra de Sintra, one of the loveliest mountain villages in Portugal. Guests will enjoy the temperate climate as they stroll through Lisbon and Porto’s intimate Christmas markets, where they will find charming handmade gifts and festive treats.

Travelers interested in experiencing AmaWaterways’ extended Portugal season from November 12 to December 31 during the 2022 season can take advantage of the More to Love sale. Guests who book their Portugal sailings for this year by June 30, 2022 will enjoy a comprehensive package complete with a 7-night river cruise in a French balcony stateroom, round-trip airfare, transfers, a 3-night pre-cruise land package in Lisbon, port charges, and Travel Waiver Plus starting at $5,999 USD* per person. With this special sale, guests can enjoy extended time in Portugal with a comprehensive, peace-of-mind package.

For more information or to book an AmaWaterways river cruise for a client, visit AmaWaterways.com or call 1.800.626.0126. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmaWaterways, Instagram @AmaWaterways, Twitter @AmaWaterways, and YouTube at YouTube.com/AmaWaterways.

Posted In: Press Releases

Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company that provides customized villa experiences, today released its Summer Travel Forecast, revealing its top five most popular summer travel destinations.

Based on booking demand for luxury villa rentals from June through September, Rental Escapes has identified that luxury travelers are increasingly eyeing the Caribbean and close-to-home domestic destinations for their summer 2022 getaways.

“Summer travel bookings are up over 30 percent across the board and as the temperatures are heating up, so is demand for close-to-home luxury vacations that feel a world away,” said Willie Fernandez, chief marketing officer of Rental Escapes. “In addition to seeing an uptick in bookings for domestic villa rentals and Caribbean island destinations, we are seeing a surge in large group bookings.”

According to Rental Escapes, the top 5 most sought-after spots for luxury villa rentals this summer include:

Jamaica

As one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Jamaica has something to offer every type of traveler. With ocean views, gorgeous sunsets, reggae music, and complete relaxation—it’s not hard to see why this destination made the list. With its many mountains and rivers, this nature-lover’s paradise is the perfect location for adventure seekers. Luxury villa rentals, which are all fully staffed, can be found beachfront amid white sands, seaside, cliffside or on the bay. With a variety of villa sizes and price ranges to choose from, the options are endless for travelers that are ready to enjoy some “island time.” View Jamaica Luxury Villas

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known as one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Caribbean. The towns and cities of the modern-day Dominican Republic are a clear testament to times past, and today people gather to celebrate among their historical remains. On the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, travelers will find La Romana, a 16th-century artisan’s village and one of the island’s best places to shop for quality crafts and gifts. With magnificent mountain scenery, desert scrublands and stunning beaches, there is never a lack of choice for those seeking adventure. Whether it’s the peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of life or the inviting Dominican culture travelers are chasing, Rental Escapes’ luxury villa rentals will provide everything they need to enjoy this destination to the fullest View Dominican Republic Luxury Villas

Florida

Florida is full of fun-in-the-sun activities and a wide variety of attractions. Home to Walt Disney Worldâ, this destination is a year-round favorite for families looking to experience the wonders of the Magic Kingdom. Beachgoers can enjoy not one—but two beautiful coasts, with the Atlantic side on the east and the Gulf Coast on the west. For fashion and nightlife lovers, Miami provides the perfect destination with world-class shopping, eclectic dining and a thriving arts and culture scene. Florida travelers can choose quiet condos on the beach, or free-standing homes perfect for larger groups. Luxury villa rentals in Florida will cater to every need, whether travelers are seeking convenient theme park access in Orlando or the animated scenes of Miami Beach, among many other city choices. View Florida Luxury Villas

Mexico

From the Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast to Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta or Punta Mita, Mexico provides the perfect getaway for any traveler. While some seek the simplicity of a cold drink in the warm sand, others look to Mexico for an adventure-driven getaway. This destination offers an impressive range of activities, excursions and adventures for any risk-taker or explorer. Whether it be a fun-filled family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a tropical wedding, Rental Escapes’ exquisite luxury villa rentals in Mexico will provide a relaxing home-away-from-home with magnificent views. View Mexico Luxury Villas

Turks and Caicos

For those looking for a beachfront paradise, Turks and Caicos is the perfect spot to book a luxury villa. WhetherVilla one’s ideal vacation includes basking in the sun or parasailing over the turquoise-blue surf, this destination is sure to meet every need. There are a number of incredible things to see and do in the Turks and Caicos. The island boasts some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving, as there is a huge variety of marine life in addition to the beautiful coral reefs. Travelers will find the perfect balance of relaxation, excitement and entertainment by booking a luxury villa at this breathtaking destination. View Turks and Caicos Luxury Villas

 

For more information on Rental Escapes, visit RentalEscapes.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by following Rental Escapes on Facebook Facebook.com/RentalEscapes, Instagram @RentalEscapes, Twitter @RentalEscapes and LinkedIn.

About Rental Escapes

Rental Escapes is a full-service luxury villa company that prides itself in providing top-notch personalized service and unforgettable villa experiences. The company offers a hand-picked selection of more than 5,000 carefully vetted and curated luxury villa rentals in 70 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, the United States and beyond. Its team of highly trained villa specialists assist guests and travel advisors in planning and booking the ideal villa stay. In addition, every reservation is provided with a concierge service to take care of arranging everything from private chefs to boat charters.

Posted In: Top Headlines

Earth Day Hands Holding Globe Glass In Green Forest - Environment Concept

Intrepid Travel, the B Corp certified tour operator that has been a leader in decarbonizing the tourism industry, has put together a list of some of the company’s most low-impact trips ahead of Earth Day for travelers interested in a climate-conscious adventure.

While all of Intrepid’s 1,000+ tours around the world are fully carbon offset and the company itself has been carbon neutral since 2010, the past few years have seen an increased focus by its product development team to create trips that lower its carbon footprint even further, with a focus on removing internal flights, increasing its use of low-carbon accommodations and adding more human-powered adventures.

“Intrepid recognizes that travel has an environmental impact,” says Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel’s Managing Director for North America. “We are committed to ongoing improvement of our environmental performance in our operations and across our value chain to minimize our impact on the environment. Intrepid has developed more than 40 new low carbon trips, with a focus on activities including walking, trekking and cycling. Lowering the carbon output from our trips is also supported by the development of our new domestic range. In addition, flights have been removed from five top-selling products in Borneo, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and Egypt.”

Here are 5 of its top picks for a low impact holiday:

Trading planes for trains, taxis for cyclos

This 13-day tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh shows how travelling with a low footprint can help create a big impact. From navigating cities on a cyclo, a novel three-wheeled zero-emission wonder, to a family dinner at KOTO, a not-for-profit restaurant connecting at-risk youth with careers in hospitality, this trip is a perfect example of travelling with people and the planet in mind.

Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Beyond local, low-impact transportation and a focus on community operated restaurants, in 2022 we’ve replaced a flight from Hanoi to Hoi An with an overnight train. Rail travel is not only better for the planet but it often enhances the experience for travelers, seeing more of the countryside and smaller towns that you’d otherwise miss.

Off-grid is even better than offsetting

Going off-grid is one of the surest ways to minimize your environmental impact. On Intrepid’s Larapinta Trail adventure, travelers will tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks, where days are spent hiking and swimming in the wild and nights are spent camping in the wilderness in traditional swags under the star-filled desert skies.

Climate-conscious tip from this trip: While a digital-detox can help provide a much-needed mental recharge, it is also the most environmentally friendly way to travel. A 100% human powered adventure like this effectively means eliminating your footprint.

Non-essential flights can essentially be the same as driving

This cultural expedition is filled with small examples of how travelers can make a big impact. From trains and boats to dinners with a Nubian family, you’ll quickly learn why locally minded travel is better for the planet.

Climate-conscious tip from this trip: In 2022, the flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel was removed in favor of driving. Between airport check-ins and wait times, it was calculated that door-to-door there was essentially no time saved from flying and lots of emissions to be saved by driving. Be sure you are looking at total travel time vs. flight time for the truest picture on how much “time” and “energy” a flight will take – the answer may surprise you.

Community-owned > foreign-owned

On Day 2 of Intrepid’s Premium Peru trip, travelers will visit Posada Amazonas, nestled on the side of the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon. This lodge is community-owned by the Ese Eja Indigenous people and will host travelers for 2 nights. As traditional stewards of the land, the lodge was built using local materials and designed to work in concert with nature.

Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Community-owned lodges and hotels are collectively owned and developed to benefit multiple families and residents of a community. These types of properties are found all over the world and almost guarantee 100% of your tourism dollars genuinely support the community you visit. When looking for a unique stay, try booking a proper community-based hotel stay.

Undertourism that over delivers

Travelers will capture the magic of the USA’s famed Grand Canyon on a guided 5-day walking adventure, starting with a hike along the popular South Rim, soaking in spectacular views of the Canyon and Colorado River, before continuing to the lesser-visited and awe-inspiring North Rim that sees just 10% of the visitors of its southern counterpart. Local guides will show off hidden trails, secret look out points and unusual wildlife each day, before spending the evenings in a scenic campsite beneath a sky full of stars.

Climate-conscious tip from this trip: The road less travelled is often a much more sustainable and responsible one. By seeking under-touristed trails and lookouts, you are reducing the strain on the built environment and helping ensure other places and people benefit from tourism. Always seek out alternative views, perspectives and paths that will provide the same effect with a reduced impact.

 

ABOUT INTREPID TRAVEL
Intrepid Travel is a world leader in sustainable experience-rich travel that has been taking travelers to discover the world’s most amazing places for more than 30 years. The company’s mission is to create positive change through the joy of travel. The company offers more than 1,150 trips on every continent and every is designed to truly experience local culture. With its own network of destination management companies in 23 countries, Intrepid has unique local expertise and perspectives. Globally renowned as a leader in responsible travel, in 2018 the carbon-neutral business became the world’s largest travel company to be certified B-Corp. Intrepid Travel is the only global tour operator with verified science-based carbon reduction targets and its not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, has raised more than $11 million for more than 130 charities around the world. For further information download the company’s 2021 Integrated Annual Report and follow on Facebook, InstagramTwitter or LinkedIn.

Posted In: TRO SMITH

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Posted In: Deck Plans

France To Suspend Pass Sanitaire

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While we won’t know the full details until next week, this site, www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus, (translated from French), suggests that the Pass Sanitaire will not be required for most activities: From March 14, the application of the “vaccination pass” will be suspended in Read the rest of this entry »

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