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Why Every Travel Advisor Should Become an ASTA Member

Whether new to the industry, looking to expand expertise or aiming to put newfound downtime to good use, TravelPulse’s Luxury Expo is a fantastic way to develop proficiency to help grow your business.

Right now, agents can register for this month’s expo—which is scheduled for April 29-30 from 2-5 p.m. ET.

Participants will not only learn invaluable luxury sales skills but also be informed about what’s to come so they can start fast in a post-COVID-19 landscape.

Agents will learn from successful luxury travel agents as well as travel suppliers and industry experts who will showcase the latest and greatest high-end vacation options in addition to the best ways to optimize market efforts.

Following the informative panel discussions and interviews, users will also have the ability to reaffirm their new knowledge by virtually walking through the trade show floors to access the tools they need to successfully sell luxury travel.

Click here to register today.

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Royal travel: How many times has the Queen travelled around Earth? SHOCK stats revealed

The Queen is known for having travelled around the world multiple times to meet people from various nations. In fact, she is officially the most travelled head of state of all time. Her Majesty is even known to have had some bizarre travel traditions such as having to include a black outfit in her luggage and always carrying boiled sweets.

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But over the years she has clocked up a huge amount of air miles.

Surprisingly, the Queen has travelled more than a million miles.

In fact, she has travelled 1,032,513 miles which is the equivalent of 42 journeys around the entire length of the Earth.

She took most of her trips in the 1970s when she visited 48 different countries.

These countries included the likes of Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, New Zealand, Barbados and Australia.

In total, she has visited 110 countries which has earned her the right to join the Traveller’s Century Club which represents travellers who have visited 100 or more countries and territories.

Meanwhile, the average Briton will visit just ten countries in their lifetime.

Her longest trip was a 44,000-mile tour of the Commonwealth in 1953.

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The journey was so huge that the Queen took an impressive 12 tons of luggage with her.

She visited Canada the most with 27 trips, followed by Australia with 18 trips.

But there are some places that she has never visited during her official trips.

One of the countries she has never visited includes Egypt.

This is potentially due to security issues and the Suez Crisis of 1956.

Other destinations that she has not visited include Libya, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Albania, Costa Rica, Madagascar and Israel.

In her role as Queen, she also never visited Greece which may be because of her husband Prince Philip’s family history.

But out of all 195 countries, she has only missed out 91.

The Queen’s last state visit was in 2015 to Malta.

But the Queen didn’t fly commercial, despite other members of the Royal Family having to do so.

Back in 2002, Prince Philip explained how the planes that they use have had improvements for their own comfort.

He said: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”

The Queen is the only member of the royals who does not have to take a scheduled flight unlike Prince William and Prince Harry and their families.

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Send us a travel photo and the story behind it for a chance to win £200 towards a Sawday’s stay

With all of us confined to our homes for the near future, this week we are asking for reminiscences of your great holidays through photography – a lovely way of recalling past travel glories. Landscape shots, people shots, fun family snaps, architecture, wildlife, cities, countryside … the choice is yours. But bear in mind your personal story behind the photo is as important as the quality of the image itself.

Please ensure your tip stays around 100 words.

Have a look at our past winners and other tips

We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.

Photographs should be at least 700 pixels wide and please ensure you are the copyright holder.

The prize is £200 for a stay at a Sawday’s property – the company has more than 3,000 in the UK or Europe and the prize will now be valid for 18 months. The winner will be chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet.

The competition closes on Tuesday 14 April at 10am BST

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.

Read the terms and conditions

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Berlin: A love letter to cities in lockdown

Berlin, how’ve you been?

You’re often overlooked when travel destinations come to mind but that shouldn’t be the case.

While the Alicantes and Romes of the world are despairing at their vanishing visitors and empty beaches, you’re the level-headed, Teutonic city we need at the moment.You’ve lived through being bisected by a wall and two World Wars, after all. We shalln’t get into who started them.

Then there’s the fact that your concrete blocks and dirty cobbles are never going to appear on a brochure any time soon. Arschhässlich is an ugly word, but Berlin you’re a mess. However, the fact you don’t care is to your credit.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Lizzie Marvelly – Domestic travel and why New Zealand is a great place to be

COMMENT:

It’s hard to believe that just over a month ago, my love and I were in Sydney, basking in the colourful revelry of Mardi Gras. We drank bubbles on the plane, went shopping in the CBD, and joined the crowd of thousands to watch the parade. It was legal then to congregate. It was also legal to travel. It seems like a lifetime ago, in much sunnier times. Such a trip across the Tasman would be inconceivable now.

While we’re stuck staring at our four walls, I’m sure many of us have daydreamed about lounging about on a tropical beach, cocktail in hand. It’s an attractive fantasy that seems a long way off, as even when travel restrictions begin to ease, travellers will grapple with a vastly changed travel industry.

While I wholeheartedly encourage daydream-travel to faraway tropical islands, bustling metropoles, and the many wonders of our world, when we’re all let out of home detention, I’d humbly suggest that we stay local – at least for the first 12 months.

I was lucky enough to be born into a tourism family. My parents owned and operated hotels, cafes and other tourism businesses in the tourism capital of New Zealand – Rotorua. Tourism is an exciting industry packed full of fascinating characters. It employs all kinds of people, from cleaning staff to adventure tourism practitioners to pilots to marketing executives. It’s creative, innovative, and can be hugely fun to work in. It’s also tough, particularly on the hospitality side, and can involve long hours and exhausting work.

It’s much tougher, however, when there are no tourists.

I can’t put into words the magnitude of the impact that Covid-19 is having upon our tourism and hospitality industries. My heart breaks for the many New Zealanders who will lose their incomes not only for the period of the shutdown, but for many months, or even years afterwards as the tourism, travel and hospitality industries slowly kick back into gear. Many of us will do it tough over the next six-12 months, but I can think of few industries that will be as utterly decimated as tourism.

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a return to the good old Kiwi holiday. While our tourism industry grapples with the worst downturn it’s likely ever seen, let’s help out our fellow New Zealanders by travelling within New Zealand. When we’re finally allowed to travel domestically again, if we’re financially able to, let’s try to take holidays in our own backyard.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ passengers adrift as ship’s doctor falls sick

A passenger taken from a stranded cruise ship in Uruguay has tested positive for Covid-19, and nine others on board have developed symptoms.

The remaining crew and passengers of the Greg Mortimer, including 16 New Zealanders, are worried if the Uruguayan authorities continue to refuse their ship to dock and let passengers disembark the number of cases could rise drastically.

In a letter to passengers, cruise line Aurora confirmed the guest who tested positive was in a “stable but critical condition”. While 106 passengers remain in good health, the letter from MD Robert Halfpenny confirmed among those with symptoms was the ship’s doctor who “now has a fever and we are organising a back-up volunteer medic”.

Including the ship’s doctor, the number of suspected cases had risen by three in 24 hours.

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Antarctica, dinosaurs and a rainforest: scientists find 90-million year old forest near South Pole

Experts say they have found evidence of Antarctica once being as warm as New Zealand during the days of the dinosaurs, and covered in dense vegetation.

A team of researchers from the UK and Germany has found forest soil from the Cretaceous period, within 900 kilometres of the South Pole, indicating the world once was a lot warmer than previously thought.

The mid-Cretaceous period – approximately 115 to 80 million years ago – was the heyday of the dinosaurs.

The discovery of the ancient forest in Antarctica has been published in Nature journal.

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Cruises: At least 100 more coronavirus cases confirmed on Eleftherios Venizelos ship

Greek health authorities said on Thursday that at least 120 people have now been recorded as having contracted coronavirus on the Eleftherios Venizelos cruise ship. The shocking numbers come after the vessel recorded an initial figure of 20. The Greek ship, which is part of the ANEK Lines fleet, has a crew of 34 people.

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The ship has not recorded any deaths.

There is also an international passenger list of 349 shipyard workers on board.

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Two crew members on board the vessel, an Indonesian and a Swiss individual have already been transferred to hospitals for further treatment.

Doctors from Greece’s public health agency conducted the tests on all 383 persons on board the cruise liner.

The individuals with the virus on board the ship will remain there until treatment plans are found, according to Skai.gr.

The rest of the patients will then be transferred to secure accommodations for a 14-day quarantine.

The ship has passengers of all nationalities on board, including Greeks.

However, it is not clear what the exact numbers are for each nationality as the information has not been made public.

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It is believed there are not any Britons on board the ship.

The ship was being leased by a Turkish operator to transfer workers to Spain.

Hundreds of technicians and manual labourers who boarded in Turkey were meant to be heading to work in a shipyard in Cadiz, southern Spain.

However, reportedly the ship was refused permission to dock in Spain after travel restrictions were put in place due to the deadly virus.

The ship then allegedly returned to Turkey where it was also told not to dock and so stopped at Piraeus, near Athens last week.

ANEK Lines have been contacted for comment.

The ship was named after Eleftherios Kyriakou Venizelos, a Greek statesman.

The cruise liner is the oldest in ANEK’s fleet and was built in 1984 in Poland.

The ship can hold a maximum of 2300 passengers and 850 cars.

Greece has 1,415 cases of coronavirus and 52 deaths.

It comes as a Briton died on a coronavirus stricken cruise ship which was heading to Florida.

A Briton was among four people who died on the ship which was heading to Florida.

The cruise ship Zaandam has nine people on board who have the virus and 189 more reporting flu-like symptoms.

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Martin Lewis: Money expert reveals the surprising way to get a hotel refund amid covid-19

The impact of coronavirus has left a lot of holidaymakers wondering whether they should apply for refunds or cancel their plans. The travel and service industries have been hit hard by the virus as they are forced to suspend their schedules and let go of staff. But as lockdown measures continue, and more people are left out of work, many will no doubt be seeking refunds.

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Today, presenter Nicky Campbell took questions on BBC 5 Live Breakfast with financial expert Martin Lewis.

A man called Dave called in and asked Mr Lewis about how he can get refunds on his hotel bookings.

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He asked: “We’ve got three short breaks booked later in the year with a chain of budget hotels.

“I just wondered – I prepaid them all – can I claim back or is there anyway I can do that if I don’t go?”

Mr Campbell pointed out that a lot of companies would be financially in their right to give refunds or not give refunds.

He added: “But I’m sure there are many companies who are understanding the exigencies of the situation and doing the right thing.”

Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com Mr Lewis said: “Yes, and equally we have to understand the exigencies of the situation for firms.

“And as someone who has always backed consumers, I understand that at the moment we have to show forbearance too.

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“Look, we don’t know you can’t go yet. When you say later in the year, how much later in the year are you talking?”

Dave replied: “The first break is in May. The second one is in June and the third is in July and that’s for the open golf as well so that may be off, I don’t know.”

Mr Lewis replied: “Interestingly, unless you’ve booked an open golf package, if the open golf is off but the hotel is available then the open golf being off doesn’t mean you can cancel your hotel.

“Assuming it is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund if you cannot go because the holiday is cancelled.

“And the same is true of flights. But enforcing that is becoming the problem at the moment.

“Loads of people are talking to me about flights especially as well as hotels.

“With flights there is actually a specific law – EU regulation 264/2004 – with general cancellations you must expect your money back.

“Now, enforcement is the real difficulty. With flights by the way everyone, the easiest solution on that is their websites which are offering you vouchers.

“If you can take a voucher why not, it will help the travel industry but if you can’t then you’re going to need to call them up which I know is difficult and I know there are long delays.

“They should give you the cash refund. With a hotel they should give you a cash refund too.

“Whether they will or not is difficult, the only real way to enforce that is by going to court and some of these companies clearly are under huge trouble and don’t have the money.”

He then explained the best way to get a refund is through your card company.

He said: “I would probably use the charge back system. If you pay for something that you don’t get then under the Visa MasterCard and American Express rules, if you can’t get a refund then you can go to Visa MasterCard and American Express which you do via your card provider.

“Say you’d like to do a chargeback because you’ve paid for this and you haven’t received it and you should get a refund that way.”

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Revealed: The Royal Family’s all-time favourite hotels – and they’re not all in the UK

Often, researching hotels can be tricky, especially when scrolling though various options online. Some extravagant rooms have names like “presidential”, “executive” or even “royal” suite which are usually perfect for those willing to spend a little extra. But most hotel rooms with those labels don’t have particularly notable guests.

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However, some hotels across the globe have had British Royalty grace their hallways and rooms.

From the UK to Kenya, the royals have made themselves more than comfortable in hotel rooms.

Below is a list of hotels that have housed more than one member of the royal family over the years.

The Stafford, London

This five-star hotel is a British classic located in the heart of London with a concierge service and a revolving door.

Tucked away in the heart of St James’ near Mayfair, it’s perfect for those who want to experience luxury just minutes away from the vibrancy of the West End.

The hotel is frequently used by the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips.

The hotel was originally built as a private residence in the 17th century, belonging to Lord and Lady Lyttelton.

Lady Lyttelton served as a nanny to Queen Victoria’s children.

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Tschuggen Grand, Switzerland

This hotel has been used by Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The three royals used it while attending the wedding of English polo player Mark Tomlinson.

The hotel boasts “award-winning cuisine”, a stunning spa and wellness facilities along with those gorgeous Swiss views.

Carton House Golf & Spa Resort, Kildare, Ireland

This hotel includes Queen Victoria’s bedroom which has been kept in its original state.

The stunning hotel is located just 25 minutes outside of Dublin and is perfect for anyone trying to escape the big city for a glimpse of royal life.

The building is set on 1,100 private acres of sweeping Kildare parkland, and is one of Ireland’s national treasures.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Island

A royal visit in 1966 by the Queen herself saw this little hotel acquire international fame.

Located on the dreamy British Virgin Island, this hotel looks like paradise complete with palm trees, pale blue sea and wooden hotel suites.

The Queen and Prince Phillip visited in 1966 during their royal Caribbean tour when Her Majesty was just 40 years old.

Rutundu inside Mount Kenya National Park, Kenya

Prince William and his wife Kate stayed here while on safari in Kenya.

They stayed at the Lewa Safari Camp inside the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy which has a collection of 12 tents.

But this place is more special to the Royal Family than just a place to go on safari.

After a long journey up to the Rutundu lodge, Prince William decided to propose to Kate.

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