RSS Tourism News

Greece boosts its tourism brand

Diving around Patmos, climbing on Kalymnos, rafting on the Arachthos River, windsurfing off Paros, walking through mastic groves on Chios. An increasing number of international travelers are ditching their all-inclusive bracelets in search of fresh and more authentic experiences, and for those looking for something different, the possibilities in Greece are endless.

New types of holidays are on offer under the catch-all “alternative tourism” – ranging from sports, cultural and religious tourism to agritourism, medical tourism, rural tourism and more.

Greece is expanding its tourism identity. On top of styling itself as the ideal destination for the sun-and-sea experience, this friendly country offers countless options to explore areas of natural beauty, walk in the footsteps of the ancients and embark on other adventures. Meanwhile, the country has decent infrastructure, competitive prices and a great climate, while it consistently ranks high in lists of the safest global travel destinations.

A selection of Greece’s alternative tourism offerings have just been showcased in The Hague. The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is currently promoting Greece as a year-round tourism destination, and alternative travelers from the Netherlands represent an important market.

“This is the type of traveler who will spend holiday time discovering the country’s authentic side and experiencing unique moments that combine exercise, a healthy lifestyle and love for nature,” said Eleni Skarveli, GNTO head for the Benelux countries.

The 1st Greek Alternative Tourism Workshop was aimed at Greek private companies and public sector organizations that want to establish or strengthen their presence in global growth markets by promoting their alternative tourism-related products and services.

The Greek delegates met up for a few hours with Dutch travel agents and tour operators in B2B meetings. The event also addressed representatives of the media, thus enabling the GNTO to advertise the country’s diverse tourism product to the Dutch market.

Despoina Ouzouni, marketing director of Tourism Today, the company which organized the event in collaboration with GNTO Benelux and The Hellenic-Dutch Association of Commerce and Industry (HEDA), told Kathimerini why the Netherlands was picked as the host country.

She explained that Greece saw a record 924,434 arrivals from the Netherlands in 2018, a 18.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, 82 percent of the Dutch population took foreign holidays in 2017, an average on 2.82 trips per person. “It is worth noting that [on average] the Dutch choose alternative forms of tourism twice a year. In addition, the fact that the country offers direct flights to destinations around Greece throughout the year is a strong incentive for them,” she said.

Ouzouni added that Dutch visitors tend to be disciplined with their money. “They love nature and adventure. They are fond of cultural events. After their first visit, when they mostly enjoy the sun and the sea, [the Dutch tend to] return to explore local communities and taste local products,” she said.

About one third of Dutch tourists in Greece are repeat visitors. “Their original motive may have been to take part in some kind of activity. However, when they meet [Greeks during their travels], they form an emotional bond – that’s what alternative tourism is all about: people,” she said.

Ouzouni believes that for the average Greek entrepreneur, there is simply no alternative to tapping into the alternative tourism market. “If we succeed in reaching out to people like the Dutch, we will experience huge growth,” she said.

Ahead of the workshop, organizers contacted a wide range of enterprising people across Greece – from Samothrace and Mesolongi to Agrinio and Kos. “Either individually or representing tourism professionals, [these people] are passionate about promoting their country,” Ouzouni said.

“Sadly, we heard local town officials saying to us, ‘It’s a pity, we would love to attend, but we just don’t have any English-speaking staff to represent us.’”


The Future of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Increasingly Is Likely To Be Chinese

If you buy into the politically, culturally and commercially popular “Demographics are Destiny” theory – and not everyone does – you probably should begin learning Chinese. Korean would be good to learn, too, especially if you now work or expect to work in the future in the travel or hospitality industries.

      That’s because Chinese consumers collectively spent nearly $258 billion on international travel last year. That’s more than twice the combined amount spent on international travel by people from the United States and Germany, the next two biggest-spending nations, combined. And the Chinese are relative newcomers when it comes to venturing beyond their nation’s borders. A smallish percentage of them travel outside of China each year, though given the size of that nation’s population even that small percentage represents well over 100 million Chinese travelers to foreign destinations.

Yet Chinese citizens flew, on average, just 65 miles last year vs. the 227 miles flown on average by U.S. residents, the 285 miles flown on average by Germans, the 271 miles flown on average by those from the United Kingdom, and the whopping 632 miles flown by the average Canadian last year.

               That’s all according to a recent report issued by GetGoing Travel Insurance, one of the globe’s most prominent providers of short term travel insurance coverage.

               What China’s high total spending on international travel and its low average number of miles flown on international travel tells us is that while only a relatively small percentage of China’s residents actually do travel outside their homeland, those who do spend a lot of money and don’t tend to go all that far.  China has approximately 1.4 billion, making it the most populace nation on Earth.  But it’s low average of miles travel on international trips is the function of two factors:

·        A relatively small percentage of Chinese now have the financial ability to travel internationally, though the numbers who do travel outside of China are growing rapidly every year.

·        A relatively large percentage of Chinese travelers beyond their nation’s borders stay relatively close to home. In fact, a big share of them go to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. They go there either to visit friends and relatives who live in those places that historically were – and in some cases technically are – a part of China, or to gamble in the casinos andor enjoy the entertainment venues in Macau and Hong Kong. Hong Kong attracted 44.5 million Chinese visitors, Macau 17.2 million and Taiwan 10.7 million.

Those numbers imply strongly that as more and more Chinese attain middle class status and the financial ability to travel internationally, and as Chinese become more and more interested in traveling visiting destinations farther and farther away from home their spending on international travel and the average distances flown will both rise exponentially.

               American’s last year collectively spent about $135 billion on foreign travel last year according to the GetGoing report, for second place on the top 10 list of foreign travel spending. Germany ranked third at $89.1 billion. The rest of the top 10 include: the United Kingdom ($171.4 billion); France ($41.4 billion); Canada ($31.8 billion); South Korea ($30.6 billion); Italy ($27.7 billion); Australia $34.2 billion; and Russia ($31.1 billion).

               Like China, South Korean’s average number of miles flown internationally is noticeably low. Right now that’s mostly because South Koreans’ most common foreign destinations are Japan, China, Thailand and the U.S. But as more South Koreans’ are able to afford international travel – as expected, given the strength and growth rate of that nation’s economy – and as they become open to venturing further away from home and to less obvious destinations, they too, like the Chinese are likely to see a large increase in combined foreign travel spending and international miles flown.

By: Dan Reed – Source:–hospitality-increasingly-is-likely-to-be-chinese/#669441246591

The loss of Notre Dame is devastating – but we should restore, not despair

The destruction of Notre Dame cathedral is lamentable. A wonderful icon has been largely destroyed by fire. However, we should not despair.

Part of the reason this loss is so upsetting is because we are immersed in a Western way of thinking that equates authenticity with preserving the original materials used to create an object or building.

But not all societies think like this. Some have quite different notions of what is authentic. Iconic buildings such as the Catherine Palace in Russia and Japan’s historic monuments of Ancient Nara have been successfully restored, sometimes after great damage, and are today appreciated by millions of people.

The preamble to the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, (the Venice Charter 1964), states that, “Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions… It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity”.

But in our diverse world, the definition and assessment of authenticity is a complex matter. The World Heritage Convention guidelines state that properties may be understood to meet the conditions of authenticity if their cultural values “are truthfully and credibly expressed”.

Accordingly, a building’s authenticity is determined in relation to its location and setting, use and function, spirit and feeling, and well as form and materials.

Japan’s historic monuments of Ancient Nara – comprised of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated remains of the great Imperial Palace – provide important insights into the nation’s capital during the 8th century. These buildings are not less authentic because they were extensively restored after the enactment of the Ancient Shrines and Temples Preservation Law in 1897.

A palace gutted

The Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin), south of Petersburg, was gutted during the second world war. When Russian people first saw the damage, they must have despaired.

Nevertheless, the government provided the resources to allow room-by-room restorations. The restoration of the Amber Room, one of the most famous palace interiors of the 18th century, is a triumph.

Panels that had been looted by the Nazis were recreated over 25 years with an investment of $11m. Today, the Palace is fully restored, a spectacular icon that attracts millions of visitors a year.

What about the relics and artworks?

The fire at Notre Dame has endangered a vast collection of Christian relics and artworks housed within the building and on its grounds, including the crown of thorns. First responders saved many, but not all, objects. We do not yet know which ones have survived.

Does the argument regarding authenticity also apply to these relics and precious artworks? Well, yes and no.

There are two scenarios. The first is that the relics and artworks are partially damaged by fire, smoke and falling building materials. Within this scenario, the focus will be on restoration – and marvellous things can occur in the realm of materials conservation.

The second scenario is that relics or artworks are virtually, or entirely, destroyed. Within this scenario, the artworks can only be replicated, not restored. Such replication would have a precarious tie to the original works.

From the viewpoint of restoration, there is a crucial difference between portable and non-portable artefacts. Other than those that were part of the fabric of the building, the relics and artworks were not made on site. The building itself, however, has a continuity of identity and function through being located within a specific landscape.

What now for Notre Dame?

One way forward is to use the Venice Charter (1964) to guide restoration. This would mean that the new materials used in preserving this historic structure would be kept distinguishable from the original construction.
Another way forward would be to restore the structure in a similar manner to that of Catherine I’s palace, in which an untutored eye finds it difficult to distinguish between the old and new parts of the structure. Given the extent of the damage, this would be the more aesthetically pleasing and less jarring approach.
Unlike other places of deep cultural significance, which may be destroyed forever due to commercial development, Notre Dame can be rebuilt. With modern technology, it is entirely possible for the cathedral to be recreated with near-accuracy to the original. We can do this and keep the previous building’s spirit and feeling.

By: Claire Smith and Jordan Ralph – Source:

With strong infrastructure, Turkish tourism sector ready to enjoy alternative areas

Turkish tourism professionals, citing the robust infrastructure of Turkish facilities, aim to diversify tourism areas including in health care, culture, congress and sports in order to raise revenue and boost Turkey’s reputation as the number one destination for all kinds of tourism

Having hosted 39.5 million foreign visitors in 2018 with rising momentum in tourism and generating $29.5 billion in revenue, Turkey expects 50 million tourists this year by taking advantage of its competitive power in alternative tourism areas such as health, congresses, golf and fairs. Given its strong infrastructure ready to accommodate more visitors, the country aims to increase revenues by expanding in tourism areas, without limiting summer tourism.

Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) head Osman Ayık stated that tourism in Turkey is not just about sea, sand and sun, adding that they are looking into promoting alternative tourism in the best way possible for the country.

Expressing that congress tourism has reached significant figures in various cities of the country, with Istanbul and Antalya taking the lead, Ayık said Turkey is one of the most important centers of congress tourism in the world in an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA).

Recalling that congress tourism had experienced stagnation in recent years, Ayık said many congresses were canceled in 2015 and 2016 due to a period of ups and downs. Stressing that congress tourism has started rising again, Ayık continued: “We expect significant dynamism in congress tourism, especially in 2020. We have major infrastructure and our competitive power is very high. We can recover in a short time.”

Indicating that Turkish Airlines (THY) has played an active role in this area, Ayık stressed that THY has a structure that connects the world. Emphasizing that Turkey has the airline company offering flights to the greatest number of destinations in the world, Ayık added: “One of our weapons in the tourism industry is congress tourism. We can easily organize any kind of international congress in any cities in Turkey, and particularly in Istanbul. We are highly competitive in this area as well.”

Indicating that Turkey has come to receive a significant share of health tourism, Ayık said the infrastructure of hospitals has considerably improved regarding health tourism. “Our standard of operation and surgery services provided by our hospitals has increased enormously. The scientific achievements and skills of our doctors are at a very good point. We are at a very important point in health tourism as well,” he said.

Ayık further noted that Turkey has gained significant momentum in the field of treatment and cosmetic surgery.

Highlighting that systems that provide care in health tourism should be further developed, Ayık remarked: “We believe that if we turn toward certain investments and areas that will respond to the wishes of the elderly in Europe to spend their lives in the temperate climate in Turkey, we will create very serious potential in this area as well. As Turkey and Antalya, we are present in all areas of tourism. We have a strong infrastructure and can use it very easily in any field.”

Association of Mediterranean Tourist Hoteliers and Operators (AKTOB) Chairman Erkan Yağcı said tourists from around the world come to Turkey for holidays.

Underlining that diversity is important in tourism, Yağcı said the tourism industry has grown based on the “all-inclusive” model. Stressing that Turkish tourism has been very successful in this area, Yağcı continued that Turkey is one of the countries in the world to have implemented this system in the best way. Yağcı further iterated that Turkey has to diversify tourism to achieve its goal of attracting 70 million tourists, adding, “We need to develop culture, sports and health tourism models in addition to sea, sand and sun tourism.”

Highlighting that Antalya has demonstrated itself in terms of tourism diversity, Yağcı explained that the city has evoked the admiration of guests arriving regarding golf tourism.

He also touched on the conversation he held with former U.S. President Barack Obama last week, saying: “When I mentioned Antalya to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the U.S., who was one of the main speakers at the international tourism summit that I last attended abroad, he told me that ‘your golf courses and golf are very nice.’ I understood that we had left a mark. The potential of Antalya is very high at this point. We believe that it will offer many different riches in tourism diversity as well. So, we see that Antalya has tourism potential of not 13 million to 14 million tourists but can actually exceed 20 million.”


Tourism boom drives investments in Philippine hospitality sector

THE booming tourism industry in the Philippines is prompting more investments in the hospitality sector, with almost 9,000 rooms in hotels and serviced apartments seen to be completed until 2021.

This is according to real estate consultancy firm JLL Philippines, which noted that homegrown hotel developments such as Seda Hotels by the Ayala group and Hotel 101 by Hotel of Asia, Inc. drove the hotel industry last year.

Most of the hotels to completed in the next three years are located in Parañaque City, including Okada Manila (Phase 2), The Westin Hotel Manila Bayshore, Seda Bay Area, Kingsford Hotel, and Hotel Okura.

There are 2,100 rooms scheduled to be completed in Makati City, namely Aruga by Rockwell (Phase 3), Seda Circuit Makati, Seda Gateway Makati, Mandarin Oriental Manila, Somerset Valero, Somerset Salcedo, and Seda Ayala North Exchange.

A total of 1,600 are set to be finished in Taguig City: Seda Hotel BGC (expansion), Red Planet The Fort, Hotel 101 Fort, Dusit D2 The Fort, and Seda Arca South.

Meanwhile, Pasay City will see the opening of 1,200 rooms within the period, consisting of Ascott-DD Meridian Park, Kabayan Hotel, Hilton Manila City, Hotel Okura Manila, Ritz-Carlton, and Red Planet Entertainment City.

Quezon City will also complete about 1,000 rooms by then, namely Red Planet Quezon Avenue, Red Planet Quezon North Avenue, Canvas Hotel Activa, and Movenpick Hotel & Residences.

JLL Philippines said hotels in the Bay Area are expected to command the highest rates due to the presence of resort-casino complexes, which continue to attract tourists from South Korea and Mainland China. Central business districts are also seen to have high room rates.

The development of more hotels in the country comes alongside the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure, such as the proposed rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the expansion of Clark International Airport, as well as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 expansion.

The National Economic and Development Authority is also assessing the proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan.

“Apart from infrastructure, another major tourism endeavour is the continuous rehabilitation of Boracay and Manila Bay led by various national agencies working together to make sure that environmental compliance in tourism destinations all over the Philippines is maintained and monitored,” according to JLL Philippines.

Higher hospitality investments in the Philippines is in line with the growth in hotel transaction volumes in the region, with an estimated growth of 15% to $9.5 billion this year.

“Building on 2018, investment momentum is expected to accelerate as investors look to sell assets and ride the anticipated tourist boom. JLL expects that the most notable buyers in 2019 will be Pan-Asian private equity funds that raised capital last year but have yet to deploy it,” JLL Philippines said.


New MTSU Tourism and Hospitality Management program will launch in the fall

ABOVE: MTSU student Will Mitchell, right, is pictured inside Embassy Suites Murfreesboro, where he also works, in this recent promotional photo for the university’s new Tourism and Hospitality Management degree program. MTSU’s program launches in fall 2019. // MTSU photo by Eric Sutton


Middle Tennessee State University officials on Thursday came to the Omni Nashville Hotel to announce the creation of a Tourism and Hospitality Management degree.

The degree will become available in the fall 2019 semester and is the only such degree program in Middle Tennessee.

The multitrillion-dollar industry supports 1 in 10 jobs worldwide and is growing by about 5 percent each year, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. That organization projects that the tourism and hospitality field will support more than 413 million jobs by 2028.

With industry leaders and university officials looking on, Joey Gray, associate professor of leisure, sports and tourism studies, explained that the program has three emphasis areas: travel and tourism, hospitality and hotel, and event planning. Students can choose one or combine all three.

“It’s an industry that you work in because you love it,” Gray said. “It’s a job that you look forward to going to every day … They know how to keep their employees. They know how to make their employees happy.”

While taking note of the hotel construction underway outside, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee emphasized that the tourism and hospitality field is less about gleaming high-rise buildings and more about taking care of people.

“This program will work in making sure that our students have those people skills, those ‘soft skills’ — interpersonal relationships, communication, empathy — so that they can be the best that they can be in this industry,” McPhee said.

The program includes an advanced bachelor’s to master’s track that will enable students to graduate with both degrees in five years, enabling graduates to enter the workforce more quickly.

MTSU is well-positioned to offer the degree because of its existing leisure, sports and tourism classes in the Department of Health and Human Performance.

Murfreesboro native Brooke Culver, who will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in sports and tourism management, already has a wide variety of internships and other working experiences to show future employers, including work at Arrington Vineyards in the wine tourism industry, character performance for Walt Disney World and field studies with Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

“I am fully prepared to enter the workforce as a hospitality and tourism professional, and I will always be grateful for the doors that this degree has opened for me,” Culver said.

Omni Hotel General Manager Eric Opron applauded MTSU’s development of a program that he feels will serve as a pipeline of talented graduates attractive to his company and others.

“How would it be to know that when you go to school, as soon as I graduate, I have a great job waiting for me?” he said. “Because you do, trust me you do.”

Partners in supporting the new program include the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association; the Rutherford County Hospitality Association; Embassy Suites; Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation; the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association; and the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We are committed to putting out the most educated, the most well-prepared graduates that will not only represent our university very well, but will also take this industry to the next level,” McPhee said.


Indonesia intends to attract more Japanese tourists at Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo

The Tourism Ministry participated in the Marine Diving Fair (MDF) in Japan to promote the marine tourism sector worldwide. The event took place at the Sunshine City Convention Center in Tokyo from April 5 to 7.

“The ministry’s participation in this event is to promote Indonesia as one of the favorite marine tourism destinations, especially for diving,” Ardi Hermawan, assistant deputy of marketing development region II, said in a press release.

The promotional effort is expected to increase the number of tourists, thus achieving the target of 20 million international tourists by 2019.

The event, which began in 1993, is the biggest and most popular diving tourism fair in Japan. It attracted 50,598 people in 2018, 82 percent of whom are divers and another 18 percent of whom represent resorts.

The Indonesian pavilion at the event features 15 companies from eight provinces. Most of them are diving locations such as North Sulawesi Travel from North Sulawesi, PT. Indonesia Kaktus Wisata Tirta (Poni Divers Bali) from Bali, Lembeh Resort from North Sulawesi, Noah Maratua Resort from East Kalimantan, PT. Putra Papua Baru from West Papua, PT. Bali Ocean Adventure (Blue Season Bali) from Bali, Ena Dive Travel & Marine Adventure from Bali and Cocotinos Hotels & Resorts from North Sulawesi.

Also at the event are Sangalaki Resort from North Kalimantan, Grand Komodo Raja Ampat Dive Lodge from Bali, Siladen Island Resort & Spa from North Sulawesi, Pearl of Papua Indonesia from Central Java, Doberai Private Island from West Papua, Dive Dream from Bali as well as Garuda Indonesia, according to Ardi.

Apart from exhibitions, presentations on the main stage by Indonesian diving experts, spa services and cultural performances were offered by the Indonesian pavilion, as well as business and consumer meetings and a tourist information service.

Furthermore, Indonesia’s world-renowned coffee will also be served.

Tourist Minister Arief Yahya describes the MDF as a great opportunity to promote Indonesia’s marine tourism to diving enthusiasts in Japan, which would boost the national tourism industry.

“If we discuss marine tourism, I have no doubt Indonesia is the champion. Indonesia´s coastline is the longest after Canada. Moreover, two thirds of the world´s best reefs are located here. If you want to dive and snorkel, then go to Indonesia. This is what we are offering at the MDF this year,” the minister said. (sop/mut)


Planning your holidays? Follow the latest travel advice

As many of us think about taking a break over the Easter holidays, the British Embassy brings you up to date on what Brexit means for travel for UK nationals living in Spain.

It is always important to make sure your passport is valid for travel, but be aware that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you will need to have at least six months’ validity remaining from your date of travel. This is not quite as straightforward as it sounds! If you last renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to the normal 10 years’ validity and these will not be counted as valid. To double check your passport would be fit for travel use the quick passport checker (

After the UK leaves the EU there may also be some changes to access to emergency healthcare while travelling. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, nothing will change until the end of 2020, meaning Spanish-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) can be used in the UK, and friends and family coming to visit can use their UK-issued EHICs here in Spain.

However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, whilst the Spanish government has said through their Royal Decree that they will continue to provide healthcare to British visitors, it is important to note that UK EHICs may not be accepted elsewhere in Europe. In any case, you should always buy comprehensive travel insurance, because your EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as needing an air ambulance and it is not valid on cruises either. And make sure you match your insurance to your trip. If you have a health condition or take part in sport or hazardous activities, including scuba diving or skiing, you might need special cover.

Many people have been asking us in outreach events and on social media about how easy it will be to travel in the future with a British passport. Rest assured, in any scenario, your British passport remains valid and UK citizens will have the right to enter and stay in the Schengen space without a visa for short-term visits. This means that, even in a no-deal scenario you would be able to travel in Europe for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without needing to apply for a visa. So, if you live in Spain and want to travel to France and Germany, for example, you will be able do so on your UK passport, without a visa, as long as you don’t stay longer than 90 days.

British Consul General Lloyd Milen said: “We recognise the current uncertainty for UK nationals in Spain and we will continue to do all we can to update citizens as and when we have more information. To make sure you enjoy your much-needed holiday, ensure your passport is valid in any scenario, that you have comprehensive travel insurance and check our travel advice for any updates. We also recommend that you travel with your residency document as well as your passport if you are leaving Spain to avoid any confusion on re-entry.”

Whenever you plan to travel, keep an eye on our travel advice pages on ( to keep up to date with any changes in requirements.

Advice for UK nationals living in Spain can be found at: where you can sign up for alerts that update you when there is new information or on our Brits in Spain Facebook page

By: Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter – Source:

How a no-deal Brexit on Friday would affect transport and travel

UK citizens will experience changes in how they make overseas journeys if the UK withdraws from the EU on Friday.

Here is the lowdown on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the transport sector:

Driving licences:

Mutual recognition of driving licences between the UK and EU may end, meaning UK drivers could need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in all EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, apart from Ireland.

UK drivers may be turned away at borders or face enforcement action if they have not obtained the correct permit.

IDPs cost £5.50 each and can only be bought over the counter at around a fifth of Post Office branches.


Holidaymakers and business travellers may need to renew their passports earlier to visit countries in the Schengen zone such as France, Spain and Italy.

Currently, UK citizens only need a passport valid for the length of their stay when visiting the EU.

But a no-deal Brexit may mean they need at least six months left on their passport from the date they arrive.

Until recently, UK citizens who renewed their passport before it expired could have up to nine months of the remaining validity added to their new travel document.

The Government has warned that this time carried over will not count towards the six-month requirement, meaning people with up to 15 months left on their passport could be denied entry to many popular destinations on the Continent.


The European Commission has said UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU.

A similar assurance has been given by the UK Government for EU airlines.


Eurostar says it expects to “maintain services on the existing basis, timetable and terms and conditions” following Brexit.

But dozens of trains were cancelled in March due to industrial action by French customs workers, who demanded more pay and resources ahead of Brexit.

Staff worked to rule by carrying out more stringent checks than normal in an attempt to demonstrate the impact of tighter border controls after the UK withdraws from the EU.

This caused long queues for road vehicles at the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, northern France.


Ferries and cruises are expected to continue to operate as the majority of the rules under which they operate are based on the EU.

But tougher customs checks could lead to delays on entry and exit.


Operation Brock has already been deployed to keep the M20 open in both directions in Kent.

In the event of disruption in Dover, lorries travelling to mainland Europe will be held on the coastbound carriageway while a contraflow system will operate across other lanes.

The previous method for dealing with lorries queuing, known as Operation Stack, meant sections of the motorway were closed and caused chaos for local journeys.


The EU has agreed in principle that UK citizens will not need a visa for short visits.

Pet travel:

Pet owners hoping to travel to the EU with their pets may face months of preparation before their trip.

Owners of cats, dogs and ferrets could have to discuss their plans with their vet at least four months in advance, depending on what category of “third country” the UK becomes.

Currently, EU nationals can freely travel with their cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport.


Caribbean tourism education to the forefront

The Miami-based Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the region’s annual networking, education and best practice sharing event for hospitality and tourism business stakeholders, will bring tourism education to the forefront in 2019.

CHTA said recently that the networking conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Miami, from June 21-23.

More than 400 hoteliers, suppliers and other hospitality and tourism sector stakeholders from across the region’s countries and territories, as well as the United States and Canada, are expected to attend the CHTA event. 

“This year’s theme — ‘Vision 2024: Embracing Change, Diversity, and Growth’ – will afford a critical look at the status of our industry today, and facilitate deep discussion around how it can, and should, evolve over the next five years and beyond,” said Frank Comito, CHTA’s chief executive officer and director general. 

“We have enhanced our structure and topics this year, as CHTA aims to share a balance of best practices and top trends to quench the thirst for knowledge of the latest, greatest and groundbreaking industry information,” he added. 

Comito said CHIEF was created to encourage hoteliers to invest in their teams’ development, “offering multiple opportunities for advancing their understanding of trends and exposure to new products, services and methodologies being implemented in the industry.”

Over the course of two days in June, he said delegates will be able to attend general and breakout sessions, an awards presentation, an innovative trade show, and other activities to complement the core program.

Comito said this year’s “action-packed agenda” will focus on tourism’s trending topics, including understanding and adapting in a multi-generational and diverse cultural workplace; what’s hot and trending in food and beverage; what guests are seeking in a Caribbean vacation today; trends, opportunities and challenges facing the region over the next five years; and understanding guest diversity to more effectively market and maximize return on investment.

The program will feature top speakers and panelists with expertise in hospitality, tourism and the cultivation of diverse and high-performing talent at all levels, Comito said. 

“CHIEF has been well-received by attendees because it is the connector for industry professionals. They are provided with the tools necessary to stay connected with people, implement new projects and develop their ideas,” said Patricia Affonso-Dass, CHTA president, stating that the regional trade association has taken those differentiators and elevated them, providing a well-balanced agenda that allows for even greater engagement, sharing and takeaways.

“We’ve developed a new concept for this year — CHIEF Talks,” she added. “The CHIEF talks, which were developed with the similar guidelines of TED Talks, will be delivered by renowned industry leaders to ignite a spark in each of the attendees and inspire them for leadership and growth in their respective businesses. 

“We want to motive each of our attendees to implement these new discoveries and apply the knowledge they’ve taken away from CHIEF,” Affonso-Dass continued. 

She said CHIEF is one of three CHTA events scheduled concurrently in June. 

Affonso-Dass said “Taste of the Caribbean,” also taking place at the Hyatt Regency Miami from June 21-25, features top culinary teams from each of the participating Caribbean nations and territories, as they compete for recognition and awards. 

In addition, Affonso-Dass saud CHTA shares talent through its signature cultural celebration, “Caribbean3­05,” to be held on June 22 in Miami.