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WTTC Report Provides Framework for Destination Stewardship

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WTTC Report Provides Framework for Destination Stewardship

London, United Kingdom, July 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today launched a major new report which reveals how destinations can grow responsibly, using the Destination Stewardship model.

The report was launched in partnership with the Travel Foundation and the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) at NHL Stenden University, in the Netherlands.

‘Towards Destination Stewardship: Achieving Destination Stewardship through scenarios & a Governance Diagnostics framework’ lays out how destinations can balance the needs of visitors and residents, with the involvement of both the public and private sector.

Destination Stewardship is based on the responsible use of shared or ‘common pool’ resources, which provide diminished benefits if each individual participant or group pursues their own self-interest.

The WTTC report offers scenarios and ways forward for organisations such as Tourism Ministries and Destination Management Organisations that seek to better understand how changes in governance structures could support greater destination stewardship.

It presents four Destination Stewardship scenarios, based on varying levels of engagement from the public and private sector, which show how differing levels of support can produce different outcomes with the aim of creating a commonsense roadmap towards greater stewardship.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “The suspension of much recent Travel & Tourism activity due to the pandemic has enabled destinations to rethink their approach to how they look after their destinations and refocus on sustainability issues and smarter tourism development.

“WTTC believes this major new report points a way forward for the Travel & Tourism sector following the growing interest in Destination Stewardship, which has been accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis. 

“There has similarly been a rising call for social inclusion, new enabling technologies, a growing need for resilience and increasing governmental interest in destination governance, so this report comes at just the right time.

“We believe this important and timely report will allow relevant stakeholders to explore how more responsible Destination Stewardship will work for them as the world begins to gradually reopen.” 

Destination stewardship requires a shared understanding of the common good, and effective platforms for collaboration with shared objectives and measurements of success that go beyond traditional growth metrics, such as visitor arrivals and overall spend.

These new models of collaboration must deliver on market expectations while at the same time also supporting the needs of host communities.

Maya Janssen, Managing Director Insights & Marketing Strategy, Amsterdam & Partners said: “In Amsterdam, our approach aligns very well with this report. Amsterdam&partners is the connector that brings together city authorities, inhabitants, industry, and cultural institutions. We have built good relations and trust, but our 2025 ambition and vision redesigning the visitor economy of Amsterdam requires us to also build new institutional mechanisms to influence change.”

Graham Harper, PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility, Special Advisor said: “I would like to emphasise how incredibly important this report is. We’ve seen much rhetoric and a new hope for tourism to build back better but we cannot expect this to happen if we, as an industry, simply fall back to our old ways. New models are needed and this report points the way.”

Timothy O´Donoghue, Principal, Riverwind Foundation Jackson Hole said: “This report will inform discussions that are occurring across the world to determine the ideal destination governance, based on local contexts. We need new and effective structures that bring balance and community engagement to the heart of tourism development and management.”

The report lists the most important triggers of Destination Stewardship, from managing supply and demand, destination governance, sustainability, the evolving visitor economy and resilience to social inclusion.

Barriers to Destination Stewardship, includes lack of a clear mandate, clashing cultures and agendas, insufficient knowledge and data, as well as a fragmented Travel & Tourism sector.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

PEELING BACK THE LAYERS ON A BERMUDA INSTITUTION

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With the prospect of returning to Bermuda at hand thanks to the return of Air Canada flights starting Aug. 6, thoughts of very important travel logistics arise — not least, where to go for a good on-island pint. A requisite choice is at the Royal Naval Dockyard, one of the island’s top tourism spots and home to a host of boutiques, restaurants, and bars, not least The Frog & Onion.

The Dockyard is a cruise port, flush with history and also providing an endless list of activities, from bike rentals to snorkelling cruises, mini golf, dolphin encounters and more – but not one of them that would not be enhanced by a call at the Frog.

Never mind the grog (we’ll get to that), the British pub is uniquely situated in a converted 18th-century stone cooperage that once provided barrels for Britain’s Royal Navy. The décor drips with military history and nautical memorabilia, and one can imagine blacksmiths at work at the large, authentic stone fireplace in the dining room .
A famous and favourite west end pub for locals and tourists, the Frog naturally pulls a cruise crowd when ships are in port, which is acknowledged with a line of international flags, including Canada’s, hanging from the ceiling. There is also outdoor seating in a beer garden and guests are treated to live music in the summer.

And the beer… the onsite Dockyard Brewing Co., Bermuda’s only craft brewery, produces half a dozen beers and ales, including the signature Somers Amber ale, a traditional English bitter, while a sampler offers a taste of all six. Souvenir-seekers can keep the glass if ordering the 50-ouncer, pulled perfectly by expert barmen.

The pub also says it is the only establishment in Bermuda to specially blend its own rum, dubbed “Frog Grog,” comprised of four parts rum and one part water – a recipe they say was officially coined as “grog” by British sailors in the 1700s.

Meanwhile, traditional pub grub is served, including British favourites like savoury pies, bangers and mash, home-made pot pies, Cornish pasties, and weekend roast with prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. There is also a British Pub Curry menu, plus plenty of less exotic fare, from burgers to calamari and fish sandwiches and chowder. Kids have their own menu.

Located a short walk from King’s and Heritage wharfs in the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Frog & Onion is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to midnight (hours may vary during pandemic). WiFi is free.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the name, the founders of the establishment in 1992 explain that it reflects their heritage: one a Bermudian and the other a Frenchman.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues.

PREVIOUS ARTICLES: https://travelindustrytoday.com/pub-patio/

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE IN 2021

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After a year with little to celebrate, Nova Scotian winemakers are popping corks and raising glasses to commemorate the 410th anniversary of the planting of the province’s first vineyard.

In 1611 Louis Hebert, the apothecary at The Habitation in Port Royal, planted a hillside vineyard in Bear River. According to Canadian wine expert Tony Aspler’s book Vintage Canada, Hebert “loaded his canoe with vines he brought with him from France” and paddled to Bear River “to plant himself a vineyard.”

It’s a natural progression for a place where the continent’s first dinner club, the Order of Good Cheer, was created. While not facing a pandemic, Samuel de Champlain organized the Order of Good Cheer to raise the morale of the men suffering the long, cold winter of 1606 at The Habitation.

Pairing this historic social aspect of the Order of Good Cheer with the later vineyard planting laid the foundation for over 400 years of subsequent food-and-drink-based celebrations in Nova Scotia.

While it’s assumed the Vikings found grapes in Vinland (something disputed by Helge Ingstad, who with his archaeologist, Anne Stine Ingstad, discovered Lief Erikson’s colony at L’Anse Aux Meadows) and Jacques Cartier found wild grapes growing along the St. Lawrence, Bear River is the first reference to European vines planted in what would become Canada. Bear River’s first vineyard was created 200 years before those planted in Ontario and 248 years before British Columbia, launching the community and province as an original wine region.

The location for this first vineyard appears to have been chosen for the benign microclimate offered by the inland location. The twice-a-day flushing of the Bay of Fundy tides into and out of the Annapolis Basin and upstream to Bear River creates a type of natural heat bank, mitigating extremes in weather and temperature.

The province’s next recorded vineyard was planted in 1633 in Petite Riviere. These early plantings confirm Nova Scotia position as one of the oldest new world wine regions.

And in 1963, when federal agricultural scientists wanted to seriously study the potential for a Nova Scotian wine industry, they seemed to take their lead from history, planting a vineyard in Bear River. That experimental vineyard is on the land occupied by the Bear River Vineyards. While none of the 1611 vines exist, some of the 1963 vines do. And scientists recently determined that vines on a nearby property, where a new vineyard is being planted, are 80 years old. Those vines are so tall only the birds enjoy their harvest.

Now our formal grape and wine research has returned to the vineyards and labs at the Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada Research and Development Centre and a teaching vineyard at the Nova Scotia Community College in Kentville, and a wine research laboratory at Acadia University, Wolfville.

Hanspeter Stutz of Domain de Grand Pre points to these developments and says, “A big difference to the earlier days of our young industry is the support from government, because they see the economic impact, based on huge investments from the different wineries and operators.”

Stutz suggests while “there may still be people who don’t know about our high standard of quality overall for Nova Scotia wines” they should know Nova Scotian wines are from Nova Scotian vines and that the winemaker’s focus is on “quality” vs quantity.

This resurgent sector of “local, high quality wines are a success for our Province. Growers and wineries are also important sources for jobs in the Province – not only on the agriculture level, also for tourism.”

And it started in Bear River 410 years ago. This is a commemoration which can be done within pandemic regulations: in your bubble, on a patio, at home and virtually.

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

HEADING EAST THROUGH ONTARIO

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As inhabitants of Canada’s largest city contemplate some travels after various lockdowns, I begin to wonder if they know of the many delights awaiting them almost on their own doorstep.

It’s the region known as South Eastern Ontario; nine counties stretching from the Bay of Quinte on the western edge to the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry along the Quebec border, encompassing the regions along both sides of Highway 401.

If that description sounds rather ‘dry’, let me elaborate. Here are lakes, rivers and islands in the south, rolling hills and open farmlands to the north. There are lively and historic towns and even a city – Kingston – which played an important part in our history. And the scenery, especially in the region where the St. Lawrence River includes the 1000 Islands, is breathtaking.

Spending time on or in the water provides some great adventures. There are 1000 Islands cruises from the delightful town of Gananoque, houseboat rentals, world-class fishing, canoeing and kayaking, even scuba diving with shipwrecks to explore. And there are parks and beaches for families and those merely wishing to relax.

Hotels, inns and B&Bs abound and there are excellent restaurants throughout the region, which is renowned for its ‘farm-to-table’ scene. The local food movement is active, offering fresh produce, maple syrup and honey, lavender products, artisanal cheeses, and cider, along with microbreweries and wineries galore.

Kingston – the limestone city – is the jewel of the urban locations in the region, with its history as Canada’s first capital, its role in the War of 1812, spectacular Fort Henry and its renowned haunted walks. From it strategic location atop a hill, Fort Henry not only offers a glimpse of our history, but also lovely views over Lake Ontario entering the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands. There are art galleries, concert venues, pleasant parks and, in downtown Kingston, a truly international restaurant scene as well as great shopping.

It’s a beautiful drive eastwards on Hwy. 2 out of Kingston, mostly along the river. Gananoque is home to the 1000 Islands Playhouse … two theatre stages in an old rowing club in what must be one of the most beautifully-located small theatres in the world, and there’s fine dining in this town too. The Aquatarium is an interactive science museum in Brockville, while Prehistoric World in Morrisburg invites children to play amidst life-sized dinosaur models. The Doran Bay Model Ship Museum, between Brockville and Cornwall, offers one of the world’s finest private model ship collections along with fascinating military figurines, all set in a restored 1880s mansion overlooking the river.

This is a great area for cycling. Rolling countryside offers trails and thousands of miles of country roads and dedicated bike paths for every level of rider. The Cataraqui Trail threads quietly though the countryside, while the Waterfront Trail offers 90 km of uninterrupted cycling along a scenic route on the shore of the St. Lawrence.

For golfers there are over a dozen spectacular courses, among them the Black Bear Ridge in Belleville and Smuggler’s Glen at Glen House Resort in Lansdowne.

Almost every activity offers the opportunity for wildlife and bird watching, especially in spring and fall as the area lies on a major migratory route. My garden is often visited by foxes and rabbits and we’ve seen a coyote on Highway 2. We know many of the region’s osprey platforms, all of which are occupied this year, while a barred owl in the Cataraqui Conservation area has provided us with our favourite photo of the year so far.

After all those activities perhaps a little retail therapy is on the cards. The offerings of Kingston have already been mentioned, but local craftspeople and retailers offer a wide variety of items in specialty boutiques throughout the region.… unique items to give as gifts or keep as souvenirs. There are antiques galore and tempting clothing stores. The shops offer a pleasant shopping experience away from the hurly-burly of the big cities.

The region is an easy drive from Toronto (and from Montreal, of course … lots of Quebeckers come to enjoy this region too). It offers a complete vacation or a stop-over between the two cities. But it’s also worth a visit from other parts of Canada … there’s so much to do, the scenery is spectacular and a warm welcome awaits all visitors.

Even closer to Toronto is another summer playground for vacationers. It’s Prince Edward County, or merely ‘The County’ to those who know it. The creation of the Murray Canal to provide safe passage into the Bay of Quinte meant The County became, technically, an island, although roads cross the canal providing an easy driving getaway. There’s also a car ferry (free) from the mainland to a hamlet called Glenora, which puts drivers close to the County’s major town – attractive Picton.

The County is home to farmers, wine makers, artists and craftspeople, and some renowned chefs who have left Toronto for a rural lifestyle. The region’s roots lie in farming and the ‘food scene’ is vibrant and innovative. A gem among many is the Lake on the Mountain Resort with its inn and adjacent Miller house restaurant. The patio of the latter offers one of the finest views in Ontario. Add to all this the fact that the County offers 800 km of shoreline – much of it spectacular beach – and you have a true summer playground.

In fact the glorious beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park are so popular that reservations on summer week-ends are recommended. As with the region to the east, the County offers superb cycling, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Here, as on the mainland, villages and hamlets offer many boutiques and craft stores, along with restaurants and those ubiquitous ice-cream parlours! If you’re setting out to explore South Eastern Ontario, the County is well worth a visit. It is much loved by many.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

BASTILLE DAY AMIDST THE STORM

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As a host of Canadian sites from Niagara Falls to Montreal’s Ferris Wheel came alight in the bleu, blanc et rouge of France yesterday (July 14), the European nation celebrated Bastille Day in modest fashion, though still better than last year when national holiday events were curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, thousands of troops marched in a Paris parade, warplanes roared overhead, and traditional parties took place around the country, though some towns scaled down fireworks gatherings, and the number of onlookers at the parade in the capital was limited. Each person attending had to show a special pass proving they had been fully vaccinated, had recently recovered from the virus, or had had a negative virus test. Similar restrictions were in place for those watching an elaborate firework show at the Eiffel Tower on Wednesday evening.

Nevertheless, spectators converged on Paris from around France, glad to be able to see the parade in person even if frustrated with the restrictions and long lines for virus security checks.

“It’s nice to be able to get out a little bit and finally get some fresh air and think that all the people are here, and that we are getting back to normal a little bit,” said Gaelle Henry from Normandy.

Masks were ubiquitous among spectators, and de rigueur for the dignitaries watching the parade under a red-white-and-blue awning emulating the French flag.

The clatter of hundreds of horseshoes accompanied military music as uniformed guards on horseback escorted President Emmanuel Macron. Some cheers rose up from civilian onlookers as Macron rode past restaurants, luxury boutiques, and movie theatres that had been shuttered for much of the past year and a half.

Organizers of this year’s parade dubbed it an “optimistic Bastille Day” aimed at “winning the future” and “celebrating a France standing together behind the tricolour (French flag) to emerge from the pandemic.”

Leading the parade were members of a European force fighting extremists in Mali, while among others honoured at the parade were military medics who have shuttled vaccines to France’s overseas territories, treated virus patients, or otherwise helped fight the pandemic.

Mirage and Rafale fighter jets thundered past in formation and, just before the ceremony, a soldier proposed to his girlfriend in a picturesque moment on the backdrop of the Arc de Triomphe, earning a round of hearty applause.

Soldier proposes to his girlfriend

Canada

Meanwhile, in Canada, half a dozen national sites honoured France’s national day, which marks the storming of the Bastille prison in eastern Paris on July 14, 1789 – commemorated as the birth of the French Revolution.

They included Niagara Falls, Toronto’s CN Tower, Montreal’s Ferris Wheel, legislatures in Halifax and Fredericton, and the French Embassy in Ottawa.

“The illumination of these monuments, and particularly Niagara Falls, illustrates the place of France in Canada,” said French ambassador to Canada, Kareen Rispal. “Even though many French and Canadians have been deprived of it in recent months due to travel restrictions, we are happy to welcome them back to France in the last few weeks”

Sophie Lagoutte, Consul General of France, added, “The illumination of the Montreal Ferris Wheel, where so many French people reside, is particularly significant for us. It is a luminous symbol of the strong and ever-renewed friendship that exists between Quebec and France.”

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

CITY OF CULTURE: Coventry takes the spotlight

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As pandemic restrictions ease in Britain, the historic but rather under-the-radar city of Coventry is ready for its moment in the spotlight having been designated a City of Culture for 2021, extending into 2022. The full-year event promises a lively program of art festivals; music, dance, and theatre performances; large-scale spectacles; and days of activism – all designed to showcase Coventry as a creative, diverse, and dynamic hub in central England.

And it’s not just Coventry, say organizers, with the entire region getting involved the “epic celebration.”

Taking place every four years, the UK’s City of Culture initiative illuminates the culture, people, and stories of a UK city and is a major driver of tourism, domestically and internationally, providing a unique and memorable reason to visit.

This year’s program – which kicked off May 15 due to pandemic delays in Coventry – includes the Turner Prize for visual artists, which will be held in the Midlands for the first time in its history; The Walk, revealing the crisis facing refugees across Europe; and musical highlights including CVX Festival and Terry Hall (lead singer of The Specials) Presents Home Sessions.

Accompanying the initiative will be investment of over £44 million ($76.3 million) into infrastructure with newly designed city centres and railway systems, public artworks, a new boutique hotel (The Coventry Telegraph Hotel, converted from the city’s iconic Telegraph newspaper building), and huge investment in cultural institutions and public realm.

Among the current highlights (events will continue to be added) are:

• Turner Prize 2021 (Sept. 29-Jan. 12): Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum will host the exhibition of the Turner Prize’s shortlisted artists during this time, with the announcement of the winner on Dec. 1.

• CVX Festival (Aug. 12-15): A pioneering three-day arts activism event curated by young people in the city around the themes of community, unity, and social change. CVX will bring together local, regional, and national artists using their platform as role models to stand up for young people and take a stand against violence – including rapper Jay1, a lead ambassador for City of Culture.

• BBC Contains Strong Language (Sept. 23-26): The biggest poetry and performance festival ever seen in the region aims to discover the best new spoken word talent in the UK. Taking place across broadcast, digital streaming and live performance, the festival will allow audiences to listen, see and enjoy with best talent from Coventry and around the UK.

• Coventry Biennial (October – January 2022): Its third edition will take place across Coventry and Warwickshire with a four-month program dedicated to visual art and culture. Taking the title HYPER-POSSIBLE, the biennial will explore the legacies of artist-led networks, activism and ways of teaching that have emerged from and through the local area since the 1960s.

• The Walk (Oct. 27): This event will see a 3.5-m.-tall puppet of a young refugee called Little Amal voyage 8,000 km from the Syria/Turkey border, across Europe and into the UK. Arriving in October, it is a poignant and symbolic moment in The Walk, as Little Amal is welcomed into Coventry – a city of sanctuary and a city of welcome – by a participatory event designed with and for the local community.

Coventry Cathedral

Of course, there’s more to Coventry than its current festival. The one-time capital of England famous for the three spires of its skyline – Holy Trinity Church, Christ Church and St. Michaels – better known as Coventry Cathedral with its amazing tapestry by Graham Sutherland, has a rich, medieval heritage, vibrant shopping and food and drink scene, Transport Museum (the city is the former home of the British auto industry), and also sits in the middle of “leafy, green Warwickshire” (Shakespeare country).

“Coventry is a really special, unique city,” says Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture, who notes the city’s role in the international peace movement and as a “city of sanctuary and reconciliation”; as a forerunner in the environmental movement; home of novelist George Elliot, who championed women’s rights; and birthplace of “two-tone” music (and bands like The Specials and Madness) during a time of racial reckoning in the 1970s and ‘80s, among other attributes.

She adds that the city is “fantastically diverse” and a “city of many cultures (where) we like to celebrate the way everybody has helped make the city what it is.

“And the City of Culture,” she adds, “is about bringing all of this together. We don’t want to turn away from the difficult stories, but we went to show that we’re a city on the move and always moving forward.”

Situated in the heart of the country, Coventry is also an ideal gateway, or base, for discovering neighbouring Birmingham (which will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022); Stratford-Upon-Avon; Royal Leamington Spa; the market towns of Warwickshire, including Rugby, and Kenilworth; and Warwick Castle. It is also an hour by train from London, making for an easy daytrip.

https://www.coventry2021.co.uk

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

A TRUFFLE-HUNTING ADVENTURE IN UMBRIA: Unearthing the diamonds of the gourmet world

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I’m walking through Pettino’s truffle-rich forests and pastures at the base of a mountain. Leading the way are four specially trained dogs – Pucci, Pippo, Vespa and Enea – and hot on their heels are the truffle hunters Luciano and Bruno, armed with small picks and a leather bag for the loot.

Truffle hunting is a centuries-old daily tradition in Umbria. “It’s an everyday part of our lives,” says Bruno. “We go out almost every day. We are the caretakers of the truffle mountain and forests, and the keepers of many generations of recipes. We eat truffles, we produce condiments from them, we sell them. This is how we live.” It’s a beautiful and simple way of life – the secluded Umbrian mountains, the ancestral hamlet that’s been home to truffle hunters since the 15th century.

Today, next to the river, we’re in search of white truffles, the rare bulbous tuber that cannot be cultivated in the same way as its black counterpart. Pucci disappears into the undergrowth, quickly followed by Bruno, her handler. He produces his vanghino, a specialist excavation tool, and unearths an onion-size white truffle. This excites Pucci as she knows what’s coming – a treat in the form of some dried pasta.

Truffles exude a chemical that imitates the mammalian reproductive pheromones, so for an animal, just sniffing it is akin to being drugged. Initially, female pigs were used to find truffles, but when they latch onto its aroma, they’re driven wild and often end up eating their finds. This gave rise to the training and use of truffle-hunting dogs, usually traditional water breeds such as pointers, spaniels and setters, which by law must be highly trained. In theory, they can be of any age, although the best results are attained in three- to six-month-old pups.

Bruno has just started telling me about the price per kilo for black truffles – in excess of £250 – when he hears frantic digging among the trees and sets off in search of Pippo. Moments later, he emerges from beneath the undergrowth, holding an egg-size white truffle between his thumb and index finger. “This,” he says, “is ten times the value of black truffles.” He hands it to me, and I feel its weight in my palm, smell its luscious, slightly garlicky scent, which Bruno tells me is ideal for enhancing the flavour of any dish.

We find just a handful of truffles in our hour-long trek, so the dogs are transported to the nearby estate of San Pietro a Pettine, which is higher up the mountain. Here, we’ll set out to find black truffles, which are buried among roots in select patches of hillside oak and hazelnut groves.

Umbria is the single largest producer of truffles in Italy. In meeting the worldwide demand of international chefs, professional truffle hunters can earn up to £20,000 a season, passing their finds through a series of highly competitive and carefully guarded truffle-market channels before reaching their destinations abroad.

Today, however, our truffles are only going as far as the estate’s restaurant, La Cucina, where the chef Alicia Capuricci uses them to prepare a delicious lunch for us. We start with an egg that has been slow poached for 90 minutes, coated in panko, deep-fried, then served atop creamy mashed potato. This is accompanied by a parmigiana fondue and a heavy handful of white truffle shavings (the very ones we have just brought in from the woods), which taste oaky, nutty and a little earthy, with back notes of olives. “Black truffles’ spores smell stronger than the flavour, but even the strongest will never overpower other ingredients on the plate,” says Alicia, who uses the fungi like a vegetable, shaving it onto just about anything – including ice cream.

Later, at La Pintura, my farmhouse retreat near Trevi, Nonna Ciarletti is making dinner. I’m sitting at a battered 10-seater wooden table, beside a slow-burning log fire, in the company of Gianfranco Ciarletti, my host and a fourth-generation olive farmer. Together, we dine on a harmonious mix of brochettes of meat toasted on open coals, wafers of cured ham, topped off with lashings of home-grown olive oil. Then the soul food makes an appearance – a dense vegetable broth with a fistful of grated truffles and a liberal sprinkling of parmesan cheese, plus a good glug of olive oil. Silence descends on the farmhouse as we lose ourselves in truffle heaven… 

Umbria: the ultimate foodie guide

Where to make traditional pasta: In the picture-postcard village of Scheggino, clamber down a flight of narrow stone steps to Restaurant Osteria Baciafemmine, where the chef Elisa Valentini will demonstrate the pasta-making process to interested visitors. “The region’s typical pasta is umbrici, made from flour and water,” she explains. “After kneading the dough, it is rolled out, then hand-cut into a cord-like spaghetti strips. Of course, the ideal condiment for our umbricelli is truffles.”

Where to celebrate truffles: On 4 and 5 April, Scheggino plays host to the Diamante Nero festival. Browse stalls groaning under the weight of fresh truffles, buy truffle marmalades, oils and other condiments, sample local products such as cheese, lentils and saffron, and discover traditional crafts such as handwoven fabrics. There are also numerous cooking demonstrations and tastings, and hands-on activities for kids, but the highlight of the weekend is attempting to set a Guinness World Record for a giant truffle frittata.

Where to learn more about truffles: Visit the Museo del Tartufo Urbani in Scheggino to delve into the history surrounding its ‘black diamonds’; and while you’re there, stock up on all your truffle requirements in the excellent museum shop.
Where to stayCastello di Monticelli, near Perugia, is a preserved sixth-century fortress turned boutique hotel festooned with mediaeval characteristics in each of its 26 suites – expect fireplaces, terracotta floors, oak ceiling beams and chestnut windows that frame views of the valley and Perugia in the distance. It’s surrounded by two acres of gardens and terraces; six acres of forest and a large patch of land where organic produce is grown. Alternatively, for a more rustic experience, stay at La Pintura, which offers refined farmhouse-style accommodation on a working olive farm. On offer are four comfortable en-suite rooms, dressed in handmade bed linens and curtains.

How to get there: Get a flight to London Heathrow then a cheap connecting flight either via Ryanair, which flies to Perugia three times a week from London Stansted Airport; alternatively, later this summer, British Airways will launch a new route from Heathrow.

www.umbriatourism.it

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

NEW HAMPSHIRE STRIVES TO BE CANADA’S BACKYARD: Selects Reach Global Marketing as Canadian Agency of Record

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The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism (NH DTTD) has selected Reach Global Marketing as their agency of record. The Toronto-based agency was awarded the contract following four successful years representing New Hampshire in Canada. Reach Global will launch targeted public relations, travel trade initiatives and strategic partnerships to highlight the state’s close proximity and the immense outdoor adventure opportunities to elevate New Hampshire’s presence in Ontario & Quebec to increase tourism and drive economic results.

“In 2019, Canadian’s visited the US and New Hampshire in record breaking numbers,” said Charmaine Singh, President & CEO of Reach Global Marketing. “With millions of Canadians looking for a change of scenery close to home, New Hampshire is a perfect weekend getaway or remote workplace. Accessible by car from Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, the Granite State really is Canada’s backyard playground.”

Just 3.5 hours from Montreal and 8.5 hours from Toronto, New Hampshire is positioning itself as Canada’s backyard offering visitors the best outdoor adventure experiences across New England including hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, leaf peeping and more. From the highest peaks in the Northeast to the waves of the ocean seacoast, New Hampshire is eager to welcome Canadians of all ages including families, active couples, experience enthusiasts and thrifty travellers.

“We know how important the Canadian market is to us,” said New Hampshire Travel Tourism Director, Lori Harnois. “Canada is New Hampshire’s largest international market. We look forward to working with Reach Global to increasing New Hampshire’s presence here and bringing more visitors to New Hampshire as a result.”

New Hampshire is a four-season adventure destination perfect for those looking for family experiences, outdoor recreation, authentic farm-to-table cuisine, local breweries, and tax-free shopping. From covered bridges to antique shops and general stores, New Hampshire offers that quintessential New England charm that makes travellers feel right at home. Visitors can choose from customized 3-6-day itineraries focused on family adventures and extreme sports, and strong storytelling to encourage Canadians to explore what’s waiting right in their own backyard.

Learn more here: https://www.visitnh.gov/

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

GOOD AS GOLD: Belize ready to come out of its shell

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With Canadians planning and, indeed, actually edging closer to their next vacations, Belize is rolling out the welcome mat for citizens of this country, touting industry-leading health and safety protocols and well-known natural attributes that are high on sustainability.

Belize minister of tourism Anthony Mahler emphasizes the importance of the Canadian market, telling Travel Industry Today that this country makes up about 10% of visitors – about 50,000 per year – to the Central American nation, but also, importantly produces a higher spend than most during an average stay of 10 days. Moreover, Mahler points out that there is a large Canadian ex-pat community in Belize, including snowbirds, and that many more typically visit via cruise ships.

With travel searching and planning a priority for many as the pandemic protocols start to ease and “a light at the end of the tunnel” begins to shine, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has also unveiled a new travelbelize website. Designed to be the country’s official resource centre for travellers, it includes immersive videos and imagery, a virtual interactive map, and a modified flight map to help travellers, and those who book them, plan their stay, and discover a myriad of adventure opportunities, natural attractions, and the cultural diversity.

Additionally, it details the country’s acclaimed Tourism Gold Standard program and WTTC Safe Travels status, the former based on a nine-step process that hotels, tour operators, attractions, and other tourism-related businesses (such as taxis) must implement to be allowed to operate.

Visitors – who are required to show proof of vaccination at least 14 days before arrivals or negative results of a PRC test taken within 96 hours of travel (otherwise will be tested at cost upon arrival) – are required to stay in a gold-standard hotel and must show proof upon arrival that they are. Notably, visitors are no longer required to download the Belize Travel Health App as before.

Mahler says Belize takes the pandemic “seriously,” adding, “It is vital that we are adequately prepared for the return of our guests, and the key to our success lies in developing a strategic framework to ensure a safe and secure experience…”

As such, and with a current COVID-19 case count of just over 300 people in the entire country (as of July 5), he maintains, “We are one of the safest destinations in the world.”

Belize is also one of the most sustainable, he continues, not least because of the destination’s reliance on nature and eco-adventures as the basis of its tourism product.

Canoeing is just one of many nature-based activities for guests at Belize’s Tourism Gold-certified Chaa Creek Lodge.

Adorned with undisturbed flora and fauna, Belize is a sprawling green oasis, featuring tropical rainforest, nature reserves, and ‘no-take’ marine zones that position the region as a largely unspoiled natural wonderland that uniquely links North and South America.

At the same time, the country’s top attraction is its 300-km long barrier reef, making the country’s coast a mecca for divers and snorkelers, with Maher noting, “If you’re a diver, Belize should be on your list of places you want to visit.”

Here is a brief look at Belize’s seven distinct regions:

• Northern Belize: An ideal destination for the ‘off-the-beaten-path’ adventurer, where visitors can have an unspoiled adventure and explore historical sites like Lamanai, one of the largest Maya Sites in the country.

• North Islands: Home to numerous cayes, including Ambergris Caye (the largest island in Belize), the islands are water adventurer’s dream, with stellar snorkeling and diving along the Belize Barrier Reef, the Great Blue Hole, Shark Ray Alleym and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

• Belize City: A laidback getaway on the central coast with great fishing and rich Creole culture, history and colonial structures, the Belize zoo, and canoeing in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

• Western Belize: Adventure-land, with activities ranging from tree-top ziplining to caving and river tubing. Home to Belmopan, the capital city, which boasts lively and vibrant markets and is a gateway to eco-activities for any level of adventurer.

• Southeast Coast: Defined by adventure and beaches, the “Coast with the Most” boasts Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, the first jaguar sanctuary, ziplining in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, plus more than 25 kilometres of palm tree lined beaches.

• Southern Belize: Ideal for family vacations, visitors can explore Toledo District and Punta Gorda town, and stroll through many colourful markets. Southern Belize is laden with culture, which is celebrated every Nov. 19 by the Garifuna with the Battle of the Drums and Food Fete.

• Belize Reef: A UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of 400 cayes and three atolls (coral islands), including renowned Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Great Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye. Each atoll offers a completely different kind of diving experience and for non-diving adventures, Glover’s Reef is a remote area where visitors can stand-up paddleboard, kayak, try fly-fishing and more.

A former British colony that achieved independence in 1981, Belize’s official language is English, though “over the years, we’ve been Latinized,” says Mahler, with creole widely spoken (as well as Spanish).

The country, which has the lowest population and population density in Central America, is also politically and socially stable in an otherwise often troubled neighbourhood.

Mahler notes that Canadians can generally reach Belize easily with typically steady lift from this country. Post-pandemic, WestJet will begin service on Nov. 3 (from YYZ) through to April 30, 2022, while Air Canada is expected to fly again in 2022.

 

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WILL THIS CITY BREAK BREAK YOU:

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New research from Bounce has analyzed popular city break destinations on the average price of five common city break costs to reveal the most affordable and the most expensive city breaks around the world. Here are the top ten in each category.

The 10 most affordable

The number one most affordable city break on our list was the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, which was the cheapest country for both a bottle of wine ($3.10) and a one-way ticket on local transport ($0.27). Not only is it a seriously affordable city, but this vast, bustling city has plenty to see and do, including the stately presidential palace, Casa Rosada, the Teatro Colón opera house, and the MALBA museum.

Istanbul is the second cheapest city, with cheap prices across the board, including $0.40 for a travel ticket or a rate of $0.41 per kilometre for a taxi. Followed by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in third place, which holds the prestigious title of the cheapest city on our list for a draught beer, at $1.34, perfect for relaxing on the Copacabana or Ipanema beaches!

h ten most expensive
Switzerland is well known for being an expensive country, even more so in major cities such as Zürich, which was revealed to be the most expensive city to visit. Zurich also has the least affordable taxis and public transport, so you might want to stretch your legs and walk if you visit!

The top ten least affordable cities are all located in either Europe or the USA, with New York being the most expensive US city to spend the weekend. Hotels in New York are extremely expensive, averaging at $301 a night, the second most expensive hotel price of all cities following Las Vegas.

You can view the research in full HERE.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News