SPRING INSIGHTS AND NEWS
SPRING INSIGHTS AND NEWS
SPANISH TOURIST OFFICE (UK) TO HOST ITS FIRST SUSTAINABILITY DAY (26 APRIL 2023)
The Spanish Tourist Office (UK) is hosting its first Sustainability Day on 26 April 2023 to address the new challenges of tourism, from climate change to over-tourism and health crises and showcase the sustainable initiatives that Spain has implemented.
The event will consist of a sustainability conference in the afternoon, involving various keynote speakers and panellists taking to the stage to discuss sustainable travel strategies in Spain, and the Sustainable Media Awards in the evening, which will celebrate the best work from UK travel writers showcasing green or sustainable initiatives in Spain.
The full programme will be available shortly. To find out more on how to enter the awards, visit Spain's Sustainable Media Awards.
The full-day event, on Wednesday 26 April, is in Covent Garden at The Conduit (6 Langley St, WC
TALLINN: EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2023
On 21 January 2023, Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, became Europe’s 13th Green Capital with a goal of becoming a model city for sustainable governance. As one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tallinn is characterised by the diverse nature of its landscapes and communities, which are home to rare plant and animal species.
During the Green Capital Year, Tallinn's main themes are biodiversity, reducing the carbon footprint and sustainable governance. The goal is to involve Tallinn's communities more in the city development, to find opportunities to support and implement green innovation, develop carbon neutral mobility and circular economy, and help city residents better understand the importance of environmental protection. During the year there will be many events starting with the opening ceremony in January and leading up to a green innovation expo in the autumn.
The city aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% before 2035, which also entails having a CO2-neutral public transport system by the same date. Public transport in Tallinn has been free for all residents since 20XX. As one of the world’s most digital societies - the only that can’t be done online is get divorced – it is also a forward-thinking city, with the most unicorns per capita in Europe
Tallinn is a good example that an urban space and environment do not have to contradict each other and is developing a 14km green corridor – a Pollinator Highway – crossing through six city districts. This Pollinator Highway will be equally a green transport corridor for butterflies, bird and, bees, as for humans
FAMILY HOLIDAYS AT SHANGRI-LA RASA RIA, MALAYSIAN BORNEO
Ahead of February half term, Shangri-La Rasa Ria has introduced an exciting new ‘family playcation’ package for families to enjoy experiential adventure and quality time together. Set within a tropical jungle, Shangri-La Rasa Ria is one of the most sought-after stays in the region, with plenty to keep little ones entertained. From complimentary kayaking and bike rides to an impressive kids’ club and outdoor playground, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. There’s also a private beach, golf course, swimming pool and spa. The ‘family playcation’ package is priced from £236 and includes two nights accommodation (two adults and two children), daily breakfast and one buffet dinner. https://www.shangri-la.com/en/kotakinabalu/rasariaresort/
Various images here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p8f3dwhwjsqcade/AACDx0s1iwWTjfSV_ehSVYsaa?dl=0
FEBRUARY IN HONG KONG
Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan destinations in Asia and welcomes the return of UK and Irish travellers with the recent lifting of its arrival restrictions and a range of exciting events happening in February. On 12 February 2023, one of the city’s largest annual sports events, the Hong Kong Marathon, celebrates its 25th anniversary with both local runners and international elite athletes invited to take part. ,
Instantly recognisable by its inverted pyramid exterior, the Hong Kong Coliseum will reopen on 19 February. The Coliseum, originally built as an area for major sporting events, will hold performances and activities with live audiences after becoming synonymous with the city’s pop music scene. On 10 and 11 February, the 80-minute Turangalila-Symphonie will be performed for the first time by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Jaap van Zweden. Merging a Hollywood film score, a rhythmic workout, a spectacular piano concerto and a blissed-out hymn to love on a cosmic scale along with a large orchestra, a dash of Hindu philosophy, a star pianist and a vintage electronic instrument straight out of science fiction, the performance is not one to miss. www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/
MUSIC AND LOVE GO HAND IN HAND, AND IN THE TOWN OF LUCCA, GRAND UNIVERSE OFFERS POSSIBLY THE MOST ROMANTIC EXPERIENCE AROUND
In this picturesque town, famed for its musical history, couples can request the company of a private musical composer or gaze at the setting sunset on the hotel’s private ‘Champagne Rooftop’
Romance at 5* Grand Universe Lucca
Fall in love with Tuscany and your partner all at once in the romantic town of Lucca. Grand Universe Lucca is a five-star luxury hotel that strives to provide guests with an experience where they can immerse themselves in their Italian surroundings. Whilst the buildings are steeped in history and culture, the hotel prides itself on its modern features that ensure guests have a holiday reflective of 21st-
Private session and personal composition with a composer
For those looking to create unforgettable moments, guests of Grand Universe Lucca can have a composer create a piece of personalised music in the Symphony Lounge to ensure guests leave with something irreplicable. Once the session is concluded you will receive your composition on a music sheet, packaged in a Tuscan leather box, ensuring it remains a keepsake for many years to come.
After having a handwritten piece of classical music composed, guests can retire to one of the hotel’s luxury suites, all named after famous musical composers or symphonies. With stunning views of the square, the hotels suites allow guests to switch off and unwind over a glass of champagne. This truly is the hotel for music lovers.
For more information regarding any of the experiences & packages mentioned above, please see Exclusive Lucca Vacation Packages – Grand Universe Lucca
Prices start from £274 per person, departing from London Stansted on 25 February 2023 for two nights, room-only. For more information, please see here.
For imagery, please see here.
ROMANTIC SEVEN COURSE DINING EXPERIENCE AT DODDINGTON HALL, LINCOLN
Enjoy a specially selected seven-course Valentine’s evening menu with pairing wines showcasing Doddington's own pasture-fed Lincoln Red beef, game and foraged produce from the estate along with finest locally sourced ingredients. Extend the evening and enjoy a romantic night away in the beautiful setting of the Doddington Estate.
The special Valentine's package includes
: a double room for two with complimentary bottle of rose prosecco and chocolates in the room; a Valentine’s seven-course evening meal with pairing wines in the restaurant; and breakfast.
Tuesday 14 February: 7.00pm arrival
Dinner only: £75 per person including pairing wines
Accommodation: From £280 per couple
Advance booking is essential.
ROMANCE AND LOTS OF ACTIVITIES WITH LANDMAR HOTELS
The all-inclusive family-friendly Landmar Hotels in Tenerife offer excellent prices for the perfect family break in the Canary Islands with extra day trips and excursions from £30.
Both properties offer a great variety of excursions, day trips and watersports. Families will find Landmar Costa Los Gigantes as the ideal all-inclusive option for a break away, with endless entertainment for the younger ones. Landi, the hotel mascot, will keep children busy with minigolf or trying out the multi-adventure circuit, an aerial adventure within the grounds of the property. Families can also include a day trip to Siam Park, Europe’s biggest water park.
After a day out cycling or hiking near the Mount Teide, couples will find the perfect spot they were looking for at the Platinum Area of Landmar Playa La Arena, especially at sunset. This is an adults-only space with an all day and night food service, cocktails and an infinity pool with the best views of the Atlantic Ocean.
There is always something to do at Landmar for everyone in the family. Watersports fans can enjoy snorkelling, go on a jet ski safari or even kayaking in the morning followed by an unforgettable whale watching experience on a luxury boat in the afternoon. The whale watching season in Tenerife lasts all year round, with sightings of pilot whales and dolphins almost guaranteed, but the best time to go is during winter and spring as it is possible to spot humpback whales and sometimes blue whales or fin whales. The tour takes place within a 22km stretch of the southwest coast of Tenerife that has been named a Whale Heritage Site, as it is home to the largest resident population of pilot whales in the world.
The properties provide great options for this Valentine’s Day that can also be booked from the hotel desk including a diverse range of experiences such as stargazing in Teide National Park or excursions to Santa Cruz, Taganana or La Laguna to make the romantic getaway extra special.
Prices available from £80 per night, room only. Vueling flights available from London Gatwick to Tenerife South. Prices for extra activities can be found here
Images available here
AN EVENING WITH ALDO KANE: CROSSING THE DELTA
Adventure tour specialist, Exodus Travels, has partnered with world record setting explorer and TV presenter Aldo Kane, to showcase the operator’s award-winning sustainability initiatives and adventures. The partnership reflects Aldo’s ethos of responsible travel, and the work that Exodus Travels has done to ensure that local communities are supported, and the adventures have a positive impact on the places they visit.
Join adventurer, broadcaster, producer and world-record holder, Aldo Kane, on 16 February at 7:15 pm in the Royal Geographical Society as he shares his incredible experience of crossing the Okavango Delta with the support of skilled Mokoro polers.
During Aldo’s talk, guests will gain a deeper understanding of the Bayei people who live and work in the Okavango Delta, and hear first-hand why the knowledge of the Mokoro polers is essential when it comes to exploring and preserving this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guests will also get the opportunity to see the premiere screening of Polers of the Okavango, a film by award-winning videographer, Olly Pemberton, which traces Aldo’s journey through Botswana’s famed waterways, and highlights how the Mokoro Polers, and guides of Exodus Travels, use their outstanding local expertise to navigate these harsh environments, while also working in harmony with the surrounding wildlife.
FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DONATELLO ON AN ART TOUR IN FLORENCE
From 11 February – 30 June 2023, fans of the Renaissance will be able to view the first ever UK exhibition of one of its masters, Donatello, at London’s V&A museum when Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance opens. For those keen to learn more, leading Italy specialist Citalia is offering art lovers the opportunity to embark on an art tour of their own in Florence, home to Donatello and early Renaissance art.
Accompanied by an expert guide, guests will have the opportunity to view some of the most celebrated masterpieces that Florence has to offer. A tour of the Accademia Gallery will transport guests back to the time of the Renaissance with a tour of the world-famous Michelangelo’s David alongside paintings by Botticelli, Ghirlandio and Perugino, to name just a few. The Uffizi Gallery is home to celebrated pieces by many of the great masters including Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio as well as Rembrandt and Rubens.
For guests keen to venture slightly further afield, Prato is 23 minutes by train from Florence and is home to the Prato Cathedral, which features an external pulpit decorated by Donatello in the 15th century.
Citalia (citalia.com) has a three-night stay at the Brunelleschi in Florence from £595 per person, including breakfast daily, return flights from London Gatwick and private airport transfers. Price is based on 21 February departure and two people sharing.
For more information, please contact
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