TRAVELLING

Are holidays to Turkey cancelled? How the earthquakes affect travel and which regions were hit

Britons who have booked a holiday to Turkey over the school half term may be concerned about travel to the country following the two earthquakes that hit the south-eastern region of the country, as well as neighbouring Syria.

The UK Foreign Office has warned people who are in Turkey or planning to travel there to “follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator”.

There were strong aftershocks felt across Turkey and as far away as Egypt following the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the city of Gaziantep on Monday morning.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria and there are collapsed buildings on both sides of the border.

A second earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale was recorded in Turkey’s south-eastern region of Kahramanmaraş at 1.24pm local time on Monday.

Which areas of Turkey are affected?

The first earthquake hit the south-eastern city of Gaziantep and nine other provinces in Turkey. The second, 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Kahramanmaraş. These are the affected provinces:

  • Hatay 
  • Osmaniye 
  • Adıyaman 
  • Diyarbakır 
  • Sanliurfa 
  • Kahramanmaras 
  • Kilis 
  • Adana 
  • Malatya 

Is Antalya affected by the earthquakes?

The Turkish resort city of Antalya in the south-west of the country and the surrounding province – popular among British tourists with many tour operators offering holidays in the region – have not been affected by the earthquakes. The distance by air between Gaziantep and Antalya is 369 miles.

Have holidays or flights been cancelled?

No flights or package holidays from the UK to Turkey have been cancelled, according to tour operators and travel experts have confirmed.

Travel companies that offer holidays in Turkey include:

  • Tui
  • British Airways Holidays
  • On the Beach
  • Thomas Cook
  • Hays Travel
  • Kuoni
  • EasyJet Holidays
  • Jet2 Holidays

There are no flights cancelled from UK airports to Turkey

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TOUR

Jet2holidays overtakes Tui to become UK’s largest tour operator

Jet2holidays has overtaken Tui to become the UK’s largest tour operator for the first time.

Data published by the Civil Aviation Authority shows Jet2holidays is licensed to provide package holidays to 5.9 million people in the year to the end of September.

That is compared with 5.3 million for Tui.



Becoming the UK’s largest tour operator is a significant milestone

Steve Heapy, Jet2holidays

Jet2holidays will operate its largest summer programme this year, featuring 65 destinations.

Chief executive Steve Heapy said: “Becoming the UK’s largest tour operator is a significant milestone in the history of Jet2holidays, but it will not change a single thing that we do.

“Our continued success is because we have the best team in the industry who work tirelessly to look after our customers, and we will never lose sight of that fundamental principle.”

The Leeds-based company, launched in 2007, was widely praised for its handling of customer refunds for trips cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

Tour operators determine how many passengers they are licensed to provide package holidays to based on a combination of bookings already received and expected future sales.

Jet2holidays decided to increase its total for the year to the end of September by around 600,000 in response to recent demand.

Atol protects package holiday customers if their travel organiser fails by ensuring they are not stranded abroad or lose money.

Jet2holidays’ sister airline Jet2.com celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first flight – from Leeds Bradford airport to Amsterdam – on Sunday.

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TOUR

Jet2holidays overtakes Tui as top tour operator for first time

Jet2holidays Aircraft

Jet2holidays has overtaken Tui to become the UK’s largest tour operator for the first time.

Data published by the Civil Aviation Authority shows Jet2holidays is licensed to provide package holidays to 5.9 million people in the year to the end of September.

That is compared with 5.3 million for Tui.

Jet2holidays will operate its largest summer programme this year, featuring 65 destinations.

Chief executive Steve Heapy said: “Becoming the UK’s largest tour operator is a significant milestone in the history of Jet2holidays, but it will not change a single thing that we do.

“Our continued success is because we have the best team in the industry who work tirelessly to look after our customers, and we will never lose sight of that fundamental principle.”

The Leeds-based company, launched in 2007, was widely praised for its handling of customer refunds for trips cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

Tour operators determine how many passengers they are licensed to provide package holidays to based on a combination of bookings already received and expected future sales.

Jet2holidays decided to increase its total for the year to the end of September by around 600,000 in response to recent demand.

Atol protects package holiday customers if their travel organiser fails by ensuring they are not stranded abroad or lose money.

Jet2holidays’ sister airline Jet2.com celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first flight – from Leeds Bradford airport to Amsterdam – on Sunday.

Press Association – Neil Lancefield

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TOUR

Experience Wildlife Like Never Before With Intrepid Travel’s Comoros Tour

Intrepid Travel, known as the world’s largest B-Corp-certified travel company, is adding the Comoros Islands to its portfolio, marking the 121st country on its list. Located off the coast of Eastern Africa, the Comoros Islands are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, featuring unique and rare endemic species. Intrepid Travel’s “Comoros Wildlife Expedition” is a 9-day itinerary departing from Moroni, the capital city, that takes travelers to Itsamia and Mwali, two must-see destinations with the world’s most diverse marine life. Explore the Mwali UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, home to the second highest marine diversity in the world. Spot humpback whales and spinner dolphins; snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, parrot fish, manta rays, wrasses, fusiliers, reef sharks and maybe even dugongs.

This itinerary is designed to immerse travelers in both natural and cultural experiences. In addition to seeing a range of wildlife, travelers will also have the opportunity to meet with Comorians, learn about the critical role tourism plays in conservation, and enjoy a seafood lunch hosted by Miki at his seaside restaurant, all included in the package.

For 2023, Intrepid Travel is launching 16 new wildlife trips and experiences, such as the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, which provides travelers with a rare glimpse into wildlife crime investigations while supporting critical anti-poaching efforts. Intrepid Travel is also taking travelers to a gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda for the first time on its 9-day Gorilla Naming Ceremony & Uganda

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ADVENTURE

Private Biking, Hiking And Safari Trips Can Be An Affordable Luxury

Active travel is one of the few industries in the digital age that still revels in mailing out thick, glossy, color catalogs. Every time I receive one (surprisingly often) it’s hard not to immediately start flipping through the pages and fantasizing about tempting trip after tempting trip. Cycling Croatia’s Coast by Boat, Trekking the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Multi-Sport Adventure in Bhutan, and endless trips in proven favorites such as Italy, France, Ireland and Spain. There are trips for every taste, but increasingly, many of the more unique offerings don’t have prices or departure dates, but instead simply state “Private Only.”

When the guided active travel industry began, pretty much all of the bike, hike and multi-sport trips offered were group departures, meaning they would list a few dates for reach trip, have a maximum group size, usually in the range of 12-24 people, and they would sell spots to singles and couples. You would join a bunch of strangers, usually for better, sometimes for worse. But increasingly this segment of the travel industry has shifted to private trips, and many of the top players have told me that 50% or more of their bookings are now private. This can mean either the same itineraries that are offered as group departures but at a date of your choice and with no strangers, or a completely different custom itinerary, often in places where there are no “scheduled departures,” industry jargon for a group trip on a certain date out of the catalog.

There are many advantages to private travel. You are not limited to the handful of dates offered, and can make the trip fit your work, school or life

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TOUR

Dubai needs more affordable beachfront properties

Skift Take

The Middle East is leading global tourism recovery as its robust expansion in both leisure and business experiences fuel its appeal. Add to this, its long summer remains a key multi-day tour drawcard for tour operators selling the region.

The Middle East’s almost year-long summer is its competitive advantage when attracting the European market. However, the region would do well to add more beachfront properties and curate experiences beyond its Uber-luxury eccentricities.

This is according to Casper Urhammer, the CEO of wholesale tour operator group FTI, the third largest in the world and tour operator launch partner for several Emirates destinations. The group has just signed a memorandum of understanding as a launch partner to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He added that the Middle East is ideal for a European customer who has repeatedly visited a country like Spain, for example, during a winter break, and is looking for a new experience.

Urhammer unpacked how to grow multi-day demand in the Middle East in a discussion with Matthew Parsons, Skift corporate travel editor, during the Skift Global Forum East on Wednesday in Dubai.

The region’s robust tourism growth lends itself to various package options and duration lengths, he said, which the group is selling across its extensive component network, including its own aeroplanes, hotels, ground services and retail tour operator outlets.

FTI also works with travel agents in various shapes and forms, with some 10,000 agents reselling its products in Germany alone.

Urhammer said its six-million customer base, predominantly the German-speaking market in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, has given it a solid positioning to grow demand in the region, which it started selling back in 2009.

“Dubai is a destination that can offer pretty much anything to any traveller. There is so

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TOUR

Holiday Factory Launches The First Package Tour Operator In …

(MENAFN- AETOSWire)

( )–Holiday Factory, the leading Package Tour Operator in the UAE, is embarking on a new and exciting journey by starting an outbound travel business from Georgia to the UAE.

At the press conference held in the Georgian capital Tbilisi today, witnessed by an astonishing number of various media channels, the management of Holiday Factory presented their all-inclusive holiday packages to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

As of today, Holiday Factory Georgia is offering Georgian residents exciting luxury holidays to UAE for very affordable rates. The special launch offer for the first 1,000 passengers travelling from Tbilisi to Dubai was announced at an unbeatable rate of 599 Gel (220 USD), including return flights, hotel accommodation, airport transfers, tour guide and travel insurance. The 5* luxury package for the same deal is only 370 USD.

In 2015, when Georgia was yet to be known to the Middle Eastern market as a tourist destination, Holiday Factory started promoting it to our residents. As a result, Georgia is now one of the top three holiday destinations for people travelling from the UAE. No other tour operator brings more passengers to Georgia than Holiday Factory.

Consequently, in 2019, the company won the Georgian Ministry of Tourism’s prestigious travel award,“Best Incoming Tour Operator”.

It was only logical that the next step would be establishing the outbound business in Georgia to help boost the tourism industry of the UAE by bringing in more tourists.

Holiday Factory Georgia has set new standards in the travel industry with its service and unbeatable prices. A lot more residents of Georgia will now get the chance to experience the United Arab Emirates as the fantastic and breathtaking luxury holiday destination it truly is.

 

View source version on businesswire.com:

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TOUR

The Tech Revolution Poised to Power Tour Operators

Leigh Barnes, the chief customer officer of Melbourne, Australia-based tour operator Intrepid Travel, can attest to the challenges companies like his face when incorporating new technology.

“One day, we accidentally sent a test email to a small segment of our customers with song lyrics by Lionel Ritchie,” he said. “There was no data breach, and we owned the issue straight away.”

“But we did receive some very funny replies from our customers. It was a reminder of the care you need to take with embracing technology at such massive speed.”

Although Barnes chuckles about the story, tech issues regularly haven’t been a laughing matter for tour operators. Companies in the sector have long struggled due to their reliance on outdated technology that has inhibited their ability to make bookings.

But multi-day tour operators today are benefitting from technology advances giving those companies a much-needed boost after the pandemic significantly damaged their businesses. The global tour operator software market, estimated to be worth $500 million in 2020, is projected to be valued at $1.2 billion by 2026. Some tour operators are spending more than $1 million on technology. Among those big spenders is Intrepid Travel, which is upping its technology budget for 2023 by 189 percent from 2019.

“New businesses … are built with technology at the core (and take) a marketplace view to their business model, which allows them to grow, test and scale much more efficiently,” said Tony Carne, chief operator officer at Airguides, a Peregian Beach, Australia-based agency that works with destinations on sustainability messaging, and a contributor to Skift.

However, multi-day tour operators, which run trips with groups of anywhere from 10 to 25 participants around pre-sent itineraries and departure dates, still face an uphill climb with integrating and maintaining new systems.

“(A decade

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VACATION

First vacation since COVID? What to bring and what to leave behind.

You’re probably carrying too much baggage. And as you prepare for your first post-pandemic vacation, maybe you need to lose a few things before you leave.

They include your pandemic inhibitions, old travel habits – and even your boundaries. In fact, downsizing may be the most overlooked travel trend of 2022.

“People want to rid themselves of anything that reminds them of the difficulty and tragedy of the pandemic,” says Jeff Galak, an associate professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “They want anything but to be reminded of the pandemic, and big changes in behavior can help with that.”

When major transitions in life occur, people hit a “reset” button. Galak says it feels as though a new chapter in their lives is starting. 

“So when we see consumers shedding old favorites as they come out of the pandemic, we may be seeing some version of this shift to a new post-pandemic identity,” he adds.

I think the professor is right. I’ve watched the transformation happen in the last few weeks. Travelers, once reluctant to venture outside their cities, are planning ambitious trips to far-flung destinations. They seem bolder and more determined.  

Beach closures, damage:  What travelers can expect after the ‘historic’ Hawaii swells

So what should you lose before you leave?

Your sense of fear. “Fear has paralyzed many of us – including me,” says psychologist Louise Sattler. “I went from being an extrovert to barely wanting to socialize with other humans. I was paralyzed by fear.” Why lose the fear? Being afraid of what could happen when you travel can suck the fun out of your vacation. Instead, research your destination, get travel insurance, and go boldly on your trip.

The COVID 15. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. We

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TOUR

New national parks res system causes headaches for tour operators: Travel Weekly

A well-intended measure to promote sustainability at U.S. national parks is backfiring for the tour operators that offer those destinations. 

The reservation system, introduced at some of the most popular national parks earlier this year, often only allows bookings to be made within a few days or even hours of a park visit. It was designed to limit high visitor volume and better preserve natural resources. 

But it is causing tour operators, who book months in advance, to lose bookings due to the short reservation window, especially for international travelers, who book anywhere from six months to a year ahead. 

“If a family has long dreamed of visiting the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone and has planned, saved and scheduled their trip well in advance, they want to know their reservations to the park are booked and secure,” said Simon Russell, CEO of Authentic Vacations. “When we work with local national park suppliers and day tour operators and they cannot guarantee us a booked reservation within one of the parks, then we can’t give them the business and everyone loses — the traveler, us and the local supplier.”

In addition, most reservations must be made for parks that require them through Recreation.gov, a platform that National Tour Association (NTA) president Catherine Prather says is better suited for individual or family travelers and is “not designed for groups or tour operators.”

“Seventy-six percent of our tour operators package the parks,” Prather said. “The national parks are an important component or stand-alone feature of many NTA tour operators’ tours and packages.”

Foreign and domestic travel industry leaders are openly calling on the U.S. Interior Department to reform the reservation system and work with tour operators to find solutions that benefit visitors and also preserve the parks.

A letter drafted by the U.S. Travel

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