Recommend August 2012 - (Page 8)

agent speak editor’s notes You’ll notice there’s a new picture alongside the editor’s notes this month and just so you don’t think Rick Shively got cosmetic surgery and suddenly got a whole lot prettier (wink, wink), I wanted to introduce myself as Recommend’s new editor-inchief. After being the managing editor for almost a decade, I’m very excited about taking the editorial helm at the magazine and look forward to bringing you, along with our team of what I think are some of the best writers in the travel trade publication business, even more exciting, engaging content, not only within the magazine but in our online products as well. I’d love to hear from you on how we can better provide the information you need to sell travel. Feel free to e-mail me at or if you feel the need to chat it up a bit, give me a ring at 305-828-0123, ext. 108. I remain a devoted reader of Recommend, but I must say that I’m growing weary of “Weddings” issues that overlook same sex couples. As you are no doubt aware, same sex marriage/ civil unions are legal in IA, MA, CA, NY, CT, VT, ME, NJ and MD. But I haven’t seen any articles in Recommend discussing the challenges and opportunities posed by same sex couples. In fact, I haven’t even seen a picture acknowledging that they exist! I think it’s high time for the magazine to take account of the fact that same sex couples are not only getting married these days, but they’re also spending money on weddings and honeymoons. Jaime Wolf Outside Consultant with TRAVEL WITH EILEEN LIvingston, NJ Recommend’s response: Thank you for your note and we completely understand your point of view. You are right, we do need to do a better job in covering this topical subject matter in our publication and put it front and center to travel agents that same sex couples are getting married and are indeed spending their disposable income on destination weddings and honeymoons. It’s truly a missed opportunity for travel agents who are not selling to this market segment. We would like to point out, however, that we have taken baby steps on this evolving trend. In the 2012 Official VISIT FLORIDA Specialist Program: Destination Weddings & Honeymoons we covered the myriad honeymoon opportunities in South Florida for same sex couples. We included Fort Lauderdale, Miami & the Beaches and Key West and profiled how each destination uniquely caters to same sex couples. That said, we take your note seriously and are looking forward to including more coverage of destination weddings, honeymoons and general vacation opportunities for same sex couples in upcoming issues. We would like to hear other travel agents’ points of view on this topic and hope to continue this conversation in upcoming Agent Speak columns. Responses, opinions and comments are welcome at Recommend reserves the right to edit letters submitted to Agent Speak. on location Now, getting down to business. For the “On Location” issue, our editors hop-scotched across the globe and wrote about their first-hand experiences from Cape Cod to Cape Town. They checked out hotels in the U.S. and the Caribbean, took a charming river cruise in Europe, photographed awe-inspiring landscapes in New Zealand, and checked-in at one of Cancun’s all-inclusive resorts, the whole time gathering information that will better help you sell the tours, hotels and destinations highlighted in this issue. And in the spirit of this “On Location” issue, I asked our editors to fill me in on something that stood out during their travels that wasn’t able to squeeze its way onto our pages. Our Caribbean editor, Ed Wetschler, who reported on Turks & Caicos’ Seven Stars Resort on page 44, says he liked the fact that the TV screen over the indoor bar at the property usually plays art films instead of sporting events, “reminding me that this is an urbane crowd.” Taylor Harker, our web and Florida editor, headed to the new Iberostar Cancun—her story appears on page 46—where she couldn’t get enough of the pool complex: “As astounding as Iberostar Cancun’s giant pool complex is by day, it’s even more so by night, when the palm trees are lit up and the waves crash on the beach. It’s a complete sensory experience.” When it came to cruising on the Danube with AmaWaterways (page 14), Carla Hunt, our Latin America editor, said something surprising: “I love passing through locks. It’s truly and totally an engineering thing…no pretty bells and whistles.” It’s always in the details, isn’t it—details that can’t be picked up by navigating a website and why your expertise and your first-hand travel experiences are so invaluable to travelers looking to get the most out of their journeys around the world. And it’s the very reason Recommend editors, too, are always jumping on a plane and traveling around the world, so we can truly recommend, from first-hand experiences, all of the product we feature in these pages. central & south america guide The centerpiece of this issue is the Central & South America Guide (page 19). This part of the world offers myriad experiences, with its Maya and Inca legends, tango and samba, the Patagonia and the Amazon, and some of Earth’s most unique islands (think Easter and Galapagos). Want to delve a little deeper? Check out the Panama Specialist Program or the two Costa Rica Specialist Programs on For even more online offerings, features FAMs (your ticket to a firsthand experience), Q&As with industry insiders and Eye on the World photo essays, including Asia/South Pacific editor, Sergio Ortiz’s spectacular New Zealand photo essay, whose accompanying onsite can be found on page 40. Look for “eye on the world” under “departments.” And you can become part of our social circle @Recommendmag and—Paloma Villaverde de Rico 8 august 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2012

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center
Tour Talk: MLT Vacations
The Danube With AmaWaterways
Striking Gold With Vegas' Golden Gate
Central & South America Guide
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Cape Cod
New Zealand's South Island is Sheer Eye Candy
Seven Stars Resort, Turks & Caicos
Iberostar Cancun
Three Days in Cape Town & the Winelands, South Africa

Recommend August 2012