Recommend July 2015 - (Page 13)

tourtalk Stunning scenery at Le Meridien Bora Bora. Goway's IslandsEscapes deserae del campo Goway's World's Most Idyllic Islands brochure is a page-turner. The aquamarine waters of the South Pacific beckon on each page; photos of the high-end to luxury resorts are dream destinations; and the island packages offer immersive experiences spilling over with romantic moments and outdoor adventure. Goway has been selling island escape vacations for over 15 years, with its first brochure launching in 1999, and the tour operator's IslandsEscapes is a division that specializes in romance travel to the island destinations of Tahiti, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Hawaii, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives. "Goway's IslandsEscapes product caters perfectly to the romance and honeymoon market, as well as clients looking to celebrate a milestone moment, such as an anniversary, birthday, or renewing of vows," says Bronwyn Hodge, general manager of IslandsEscapes at Goway. "But it's more than just romance. We also sell long-stay, snowbird escape vacations, cruise holidays, family trips, girls' getaways, spa and wellness trips, diving vacations, and more. We offer a wide range of island destinations and resorts, from great value self-catering villas to truly luxury private islands." IslandsEscapes also caters to adventurous travelers. For example, according to Hodge, in French Polynesia, your clients can take an ATV tour around Moorea or Bora Bora, swim and snorkel with reef sharks, or go hiking. In Fiji, they can skydive, try stand-up paddleboarding or fly boarding; and in the Maldives water adventure awaits with shipwreck scuba diving, catamaran adventures or fishing. "We have found that more and more honeymoon couples want to experience something unique and adventurous on their special vacation," says Hodge. "Many honeymooners want to do more than relax on a beach; they want to feel like they have immersed themselves in the local culture, and learned something new, such as a cooking class or scuba lesson. We highly encourage these clients to try island hopping or multi-destination trips, such as Dubai and the Maldives, and to book different styles of accommodations, such as an island resort combined with a boutique catamaran." About five years ago, to meet the demand of this fast-growing product, Goway created a dedicated IslandsEscapes team, which also works with travel agents to decide what clients are looking for in regard to budget, length of stay and the type of trip. "We provide travel agents with all the tools they need to sell to their clients, including online webinar training once a week to learn more about our destinations," adds Hodge. When it comes to the accommodations, IslandsEscapes offers moderate to three-star resorts throughout its portfolio, but for Tahiti and the Maldives the resorts tend to be on the higher end. On Cook Islands and in Bali, accommodations are for a more restrictive budget, while in Fiji the resorts are luxurious fourstar quality. Hodge says there are plans to expand the Hawaii properties to include more four- and five-star resorts, as well as boutique properties and additional adventurous day excursions. But which island resorts are Hodge's favorites? She says Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa in the French Polynesia is the top pick among the Goway staff. "It's incredibly beautiful and home to some amazing drift snorkeling, in addition to luxurious accommodations. Bora Bora arguably is the most beautiful lagoon in the world, and a favorite resort is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. The Maldives is all about luxury, overwater bungalows, international cuisine, and extraordinary scenery above and below the water, while Fiji has hands down some of the friendliest people." ● c ontac t i nf or mati on Goway: (800) 557-2841; or july 2015 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Goway’s IslandsEscapes
Adventures in North America
Romania: Superbly Scenic, Marvelously Medieval
Central Europe With Adventures by Disney
Get Off That Beach Chair!
Off-Beat Adventures
INDABA 2015 (With a Taste of Durban)
A Treasured Journey Into the Past
Small Boats & Big Tortoises in the Galapagos
Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze
Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2

Recommend July 2015