Editor’s letter

Travelling in the right direction

Welcome to the October issue of ABTA Magazine. Two recent changes – the end of the traffic light system and the opening of the US – have provided a much needed and long overdue boost for the travel industry.

As ABTA’s Mark Tanzer said, these measures represent a step in the right direction, but it “will not in itself be enough to undo two years of damage to the overseas travel industry, caused as a direct result of government policies. Targeted financial support for travel agents and tour operators is the only way to make good this damage and stem further job losses following on from the nearly 100,000 jobs which have already been lost in the outbound travel sector”.

In this issue, we reveal the most beautiful gardens in Japan, look at the US destinations we can’t wait to return to and head off on a whirlwind tour of Malta. We hope you enjoy reading.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360

Cruise operations to return to 80% by end of 2021

By Anthony Pearce
Most of the cruise industry’s 220 ocean-going ships will be back in service by the end of December

  Scroll for more

Most of the cruise industry’s 220 ocean-going ships will be back in service by the end of December


The cruise industry has announced that worldwide operations will return to 80 per cent by the end of the year

Out of the cruise industry’s 220 ocean-going ships, many of these are projected to return to service with passengers by the end of December 2021.

MSC Cruises’ executive chairman and global chair of CLIA Pierfrancesco Vago said 16 per cent of the sector was operating in June, and operations are currently at 56 per cent, with a projected 80 per cent before the end of the year.

Speaking at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami – and also online – Vago told delegates that 30 million passengers were carried annually throughout the industry before the global pandemic, with services resuming from summer 2020, carrying two million customers.

“The future is bright for all of us here, we have emerged as one of the world’s safest holidays,” Vago said, noting the industry’s global work to introduce strict health and safety protocols.

With unsteady vaccination programmes in the southern hemisphere, however, Vago said bookings for winter aren’t as strong as usual: “Spring 2022 bookings are coming back and 2023 is better; stronger volumes are coming in.”

Royal Caribbean Group’s chairman and chief executive, Richard Fain, has said he expects the company to be running at 100 per cent by the end of the year within its core markets, adding that it’s “very important to get the fly-wheel going” and get cruises booked in for peak periods. “We need that period of stability; getting more ships operating is a good way to do that. Also, word of mouth is important; people are coming back from these cruises and raving about them.”

Also on the panel was Arnold Donald, president and chief executive of Carnival Corporation. Donald said the industry was heading towards a “brighter future” but that we should expect “potholes and detours” along the way.

The panelists agreed that customer satisfaction was higher than ever since the introduction of health and safety protocols, with some measures set to remain after the pandemic.

Environmental credits was a key issue raised by the panelists, a topic recently raised by MSC, who have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050. CLIA’s Vago said: “We have not lost sight of the need to press forward in the area of sustainability.”

During the discussion, the panel also welcomed the arrival of Virgin Voyages, which launched in Summer 2021.

Editor’s letter

The government needs to do more to open up travel

Welcome to the September issue of ABTA Magazine. At the end of last month, seven destinations, including Denmark and Canada, were added to the government’s green list in the latest update to the traffic light system – providing some much needed stability and reassurance for holidaymakers.

But as Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: “The government needs to focus its attention on correcting some of the structural issues that are stopping people travelling and delaying the industry’s recovery. The UK may be leading the way on the vaccine rollout, but it is lagging behind other countries when it comes to opening up international travel and making it easy for people to travel.”

In this issue, we reveal the most tranquil spots in Croatia, take you on a tour of Antigua, introduce you to the Mauritian tourist board, plus round-up a series of quarantine-free destinations with our interactive map feature. There’s also all the latest news, from both ABTA and the wider industry. We hope you enjoy reading.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360

14 quarantine-free destinations

Double-jabbed Brits can travel to these holiday hotspots without the need to quarantine

Malta

Packed with treasures, British holiday favourite Malta is a sun-soaked archipelago brimming with UNESCO World Heritage sites, historical gems and glittering beaches.

Just a three-hour flight from the UK and boasting 300 sunny days a year, Malta’s year-round warmth is a big draw, along with the fact that you’re never more than a 15-minute drive from the sea.

Entry requirements for Malta
Only fully vaccinated travellers can travel to green-listed Malta from the UK and they must have been jabbed more than 14 days before travel.

Acceptable proof of vaccination status include the NHS Covid Pass letter and digital Covid passes, including the NHS app and the vaccination certificate in digital or downloaded PDF form.

Children aged from five to 11 can travel to Malta if they are accompanied by vaccinated adults with proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours from arrival in Malta. Children under five are not required to be tested. Anyone aged 12 and over will need proof of vaccination.

Everyone must complete a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and a Passenger Locator Form before departure.

Find out more here.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Boasting 365 heavenly beaches – one for each day of the year – Antigua is famed for its year-round sunshine and world-class sailing.

Don’t overlook under-the-radar sister island Barbuda: it’s a paradise for wildlife with the largest colony of frigate birds in the world.

Entry requirements for Antigua and Barbuda
Currently on the UK’s green list, the following entry rules apply to all travellers, regardless of vaccination status. No-one is permitted to enter the country who has been to Brazil or South Africa in the past 14 days.

Up to and including September 30, all arriving passengers aged five years and older must show evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken within seven days of their flight. From October 1, all RT-PCR tests must be taken within four days of the flight.

Holidaymakers need to complete a Health Declaration Form upon arrival.

Visitors will receive medical screenings and have their temperature taken at the airport and may be asked to take a test on arrival or at their hotel as determined by the health authorities. This test costs $100 (£72). The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office warns of “long waiting times on arrival” at the airport.

Regardless of vaccination status, tourists can normally travel straight to certified tourism accommodation after screening and be allowed to move around the country freely. However, after October 1, only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed to stay in Antigua and Barbuda’s hotels. Unvaccinated visitors will need to show proof of pre-booked accommodation at one of the approved facilities for 14 days and pay for a test on day 12.

Find out more here.

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Balearic Islands

Located off Spain’s east coast, the popular Balearic Islands include Majorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Menorca.

Majorca is the largest island with a clutch of hedonistic resorts in the south and luxury boutique resorts in the north. Hidden gem Formentera is known for its Caribbean-like beaches and hippy vibe, while Menorca is a hit with families who favour its quiet beaches and megalithic sites. Ibiza’s main resort San Antonio is famed for its club scene, but the island’s pretty north coast is awash with secluded beaches.

Entry requirements for the Balearic Islands
British travellers entering the Balearics will need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 hours of travel or show proof of vaccination (an NHS Covid Pass or NHS letter). Anyone using vaccination status needs to have received their second jab at least 14 days before travel. These rules apply to all Brits aged 12 and over.

A health check form also needs to be completed by all visitors before travel.

Find out more here.

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Madeira and Porto Santo

The tiny volcanic island of Madeira is popular with Brits thanks to its perennial sunshine, tropical landscape and scenic mountains.

Must-do activities include hiking past waterfalls on the Levada do Caldeirão Verde trail; admiring Portuguese architecture in cosmopolitan capital Funchal; and taking the cable car to Monte Palace Madeira.

Entry requirements for Madeira and Porto Santo
Regardless of vaccination status, Brits don’t need to quarantine when visiting Madeira, which is on the UK’s green watchlist.

All travellers aged 12 and over need to complete a traveller questionnaire before visiting the Portuguese archipelago.

On arrival, visitors must either show proof of vaccination status or present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival (if not uploaded to their passenger questionnaire) or obtain a Covid-19 recovery certificate. Anyone unable to show either of these certificates can take a Covid-19 test at the airport and remain in their accommodation for about 12 hours until the results are known.

Find out more here

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Greece

Greece’s mainland and islands are a magnet for Brits seeking sun-kissed beaches and mouth-watering cuisine.

Steeped in history, Greece is bursting with ancient treasures, including the Acropolis citadel in Athens and the spectacular mountaintop monasteries of Meteora.

Entry requirements for Greece
All visitors need to have completed a Passenger Locator Form no later than 11.56pm (local time in Greece) the day before arriving in Greece, which is on the UK’s amber list.

Travellers over the age of 12 also need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or proof of a negative rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory taken within a 48-hour period before your arrival or Greece, or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

Greece will also accept proof of recovery from Covid-19; evidence of a positive Covid-19 PCR test result taken 30 to 180 days before your travel dates can be used.

Find out more here.

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Portugal

 

Year-round sunshine ensures Portugal’s enduring popularity with visitors from around the world, drawn by its heavenly beaches, expansive golf courses, gastronomy and wine.

Entry requirements for Portugal
To avoid quarantining on arrival, travellers need to show proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

Anyone aged from 12 to 17 travelling with fully vaccinated parents do not need to quarantine, but must provide a negative test result.

Everyone aged 12 and over will need to complete a passenger locator card and have their temperature taken on arrival.

Kids aged 11 and under do not need to quarantine or take a test.

Find out more here.

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Canary Islands

The sun-baked Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa has seven islands, with top draws including Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

Just a four-hour flight from the UK, the volcanic islands have a winning formula for Brits with their comely beaches and year-round sunshine.

Tenerife attracts holidaymakers with its sandy beaches, luxury resorts, water parks and party scene; Lanzarote packs a punch with its dramatic lunar landscape; and Gran Canaria is famous for its charming mountain villages and sensational sand dunes.

Entry requirements for the Canary Islands
British travellers entering the Canary Islands will need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 hours of travel, or show proof of vaccination (an NHS Covid Pass or NHS letter).

Anyone using vaccination status needs to have received their second jab at least 14 days before travel. These rules apply to all Brits aged 12 and over.

A health check form also needs to be completed by all visitors before travel.

Find out more here.

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Cyprus

Ticking all the boxes for sun-starved Brits, balmy Cyprus is blessed with heavenly beaches, a rich history, awe-inspiring vistas and culinary treats.

As the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, Cyprus provides the ideal setting for weddings thanks to its short flight and guaranteed sunshine.

Away from the coast, visitors can play golf on first-class courses, explore the wine routes, bliss out in a luxury spa, or trek one of the island’s numerous walking trails through shady pine forests and rugged mountains.

While Cyprus is on the UK’s amber list, Britain entered Cyprus’ red category on July 8.

Entry requirements for Cyprus
All visitors to Cyprus need to complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before their journey.

Travellers who can prove their double vaccination status do not need to take a PCR test before departure or on arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. They must then do another PCR test upon arrival at the airport. Test results should be available online within three hours. Unvaccinated visitors then need to take a PCR test on day seven following their arrival, and then every 72 hours.

Children who arrive in Cyprus before their 12th birthday are exempt from testing.

Find out more here.

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Gibraltar

The tiny nation state of Gibraltar is only 10 square kilometres in size, but packs a lot of personality into the small town and 426m high rock it calls home.

A British Overseas Territory since 1713, Gibraltar offers classic full English breakfasts, red post boxes, afternoon tea and pints of London Pride, all with a side helping of sun, sea and sangria.

Brits can feel at home while getting a taste of the exotic – boisterous macaque monkeys jostle for space on the famous rock, which also boasts views across the water to Morocco.

Entry requirements for Gibraltar
All fully vaccinated visitors to Gibraltar must upload their vaccination certificate onto the Passenger Locator Form. You must also book a lateral flow test before arriving in Gibraltar and this must be taken within 24 hours of arrival. If you’re staying for more than seven days, you must also take a second test on day five.

If you are unvaccinated, you must have a lateral flow test taken no more than 48 hours before your flight to Gibraltar. You must also book a lateral flow test to be taken within 24 hours of your arrival. If you’re staying for more than seven days, you must also take a second test on day five.

Find out more here.

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Iceland

Otherworldly Iceland is a hit with travellers seeking to revel in nature’s raw power. Explore spurting geysers, luminous glaciers and steaming hot springs, before wallowing in one of the country’s many soothing thermal pools.

One of the bucket-list experiences to be had here is snorkelling between tectonic plates at Silfra in Thingvellir National Park.

Aside from its photogenic scenery, the volcanic island is known for its friendliness and some of the freshest seafood on earth.

Entry requirements for Iceland
Brits are only allowed to enter green-listed Iceland if they have been fully vaccinated or have previously recovered from Covid-19. All travellers must pre-register here before visiting.

Travellers will also need to present a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test no more than 72 hours before departing to Iceland.  Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from testing and quarantine.

Find out more here.

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Denmark

Christianshavn, Copenhagen. © Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner.

 

Recently added to the UK’s green list, Scandinavia’s smallest kingdom is famous for its cool capital Copenhagen, abuzz with hip cafes, boutiques and stellar restaurants, along with must-see spots like amusement park Tivoli Gardens and colourful neighbourhood Christiania.

Beyond the capital, visitors can set sail on a viking ship with the Viking Ship Museum; visit the home of Hans Christian Andersen in Odense; discover artist Thomas Dambo’s giant scrap wood giants and trolls; or spend the night in a treetop cabin in north Jutland.

Entry requirements for Denmark
Fully vaccinated Brits or those previously infected with Covid-19 can visit Denmark without needing to take a test or self-isolate. They will need to present proof of vaccination or previous infection. Children under the age of 18 who are visiting Denmark with a fully vaccinated parent do not need to self-isolate upon entry.

But visitors aged 16 or above who are not fully vaccinated will need to present a negative Covid-19 test before entry.

Find out more here.

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Finland

 

Recently added to the UK’s green list and a hit with Brits seeking back-to-nature holidays, Finland is famous for its huge green forests, shimmering blue lakes (there are 188,000 of them!) and saunas.

The country boasts incredible natural phenomena: visitors can see the northern lights in winter, and experience the full midnight sun in summer. There’s also wildlife in abundance: enjoy bear-watching trips from April to September, and see the world’s rarest seal in Lake Saimaa.

Visit snowy Lapland in winter to meet Santa and to enjoy husky and reindeer rides, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Entry requirements for Finland
Brits must show proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival, or a certificate of recovery from within the past six months.

Find out more here.

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Switzerland

Switzerland. Image credit: Switzerland Tourism / Jan Geerk.

Famous for its chocolate, clocks and cheese fondue, Switzerland is popular with adventure-loving Brits with cash to splash.

Now on the UK’s travel green list, Switzerland is one of Europe’s top ski and snowboard destinations thanks to its knockout Alpine scenery. Top resorts include Verbier, Davos, Klosters and St Moritz.

Beyond winter sports, the country’s epic landscape of mountains, glaciers, gorges and rivers is perfect for bungee-jumping, canyoning, hiking, climbing, paragliding and more.

Swiss city Zürich is also worth exploring for its vibrant nightlife, pretty old town and atmospheric café scene.

Entry requirements for Switzerland
Only fully vaccinated Brits are allowed to visit Switzerland. Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

All travellers must complete a passenger locator form.

Find out more here.

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Azores

Hyped as the “Hawaii of Europe”, the Azores are volcanic islands that lie 1,600km west of Portugal in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recently added to the UK’s green list, the autonomous archipelago boasts knockout scenery with black sand beaches, rugged lava coastlines and crater lakes.

Popular with wildlife lovers, the Azores are known for whale and dolphin watching. Visitors can spot sperm whales, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins all year round.

It’s also a hit with divers thanks to its clear waters which home loggerhead turtles, slipper lobsters, yellowmouth barracuda, manta rays, blue sharks and more.

Entry requirements for Portugal, including the Azores
To avoid quarantining on arrival, travellers need to show proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

Anyone aged from 12 to 17 travelling with fully vaccinated parents does not need to quarantine, but must provide a negative test result.

Everyone aged 12 and over will need to complete a passenger locator card and have their temperature taken on arrival.

Children aged 11 and under do not need to quarantine or take a test.

Find out more here.

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Editor’s letter

Going Greek again

Dear colleagues and readers of ABTA Magazine.

We are delighted to be collaborating with ABTA Magazine on this Guide to Greece.

It goes without saying, but the last 18 months have been a huge challenge for our industry. However, we hope that this guide helps to remind you of what treasures await you in Greece, from our metropolitan cities to far away islands – we’ve even included a feature on visiting in autumn where your clients will get an altogether different experience.

We look forward to warmly welcoming you and your clients back to Greece as soon as it is possible.

Emy Anagnostopoulou, director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation UK & Ireland Office

Contact

Get in touch with the team

The ABTA Magazine Guide to Greece is produced in association with the Greek National Tourism Organisation. Click here for more information about Greek tourism

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial

Mark O’Donnell, head of client content
mark@waterfront-publishing.com

Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360

Wine map of Greece

Feature

On the wine trail in Greece

A guide to the different wines to be found around the country, from the Cyclades to Crete, plus the vineyards to visit and the food to enjoy them with


Greece’s climate and terroir result in the production of some outstanding wines. Sharing a carafe of house wine over homestyle food is very much a part of holidaying in Greece, while visiting vineyards and sampling wine in the winery where it was crafted is a great way to explore this idyllic land. 

The Cyclades
Santorini’s volcanic soil, low rainfall and sunshine are factors in producing quality wines. They include minerally white wines and bottles proudly referencing the island’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). 

The Aegean island’s soil is too acidic for phylloxera, tiny pests that destroy vines, meaning you can see vines of prodigious age while touring vineyards. The long-established Estate Argyros and modern Vassaltis Vineyards are among those that welcome visitors, along with Venetsanou, Boutari and Gaia. Look carefully and you’ll see vines trained into shade-casting basket shapes.  

Assyrtiko grapes produce crisp, full-bodied white wine. Relax while sipping a glass accompanied by a plate of fava dip and freshly baked pitta bread. Afterwards, try pairing a glass of the island’s Vinsanto dessert wine with baklava or a chocolate-based dish.

In Paros, visit the Asteras Winery or the Moraitis Winery, near Naousa, to see a vineyard set in sandy soil typical of the region. The island’s PDO was established in 1981. It’s unique as Greece’s only appellation permitting use of a white grape varietal in red wine production – featuring indigenous varieties such as Mandilaria and Monemvasia among others.

Revithada, a chickpea stew finished with lemon and olive oil, pairs well with Paros’s white wines. So too does gouna, a traditional dish of sun-dried fish grilled with herbs and lemon juice. Karavoli, snails in a garlicky sauce, are ideal with the island’s red wine. Wherever you visit, experiencing Greece means good food and wine.

Epirus
Epirus, in Greece’s northwest, is known for its undulating mountains and verdant landscapes. The region’s winemaking is concentrated around Metsovo (and the Katogi Averoff Winery) and Zitsa (which has the Zoinos Winery and Estate Glinavos), with PDO Zitsa being the only wine in Epirus to have the highly-valued PDO badge – and the only one in the whole of Greece to be given to a white sparkling wine. 

Once visitors have had their fill of the local drop, they can visit some of the region’s fascinating sites, including the monastery of Prophet Elias in Zitsa, which Lord Byron visited in 1809. While there he sampled the wine and declared it among the best in Europe. He even included the monastery in his epic poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Halkidiki
Northern Greece’s Halkidiki region is famed for organic, vegetable-rich cuisine. Locally landed seafood also features. The region’s traditional diet, of which an occasional glass of wine is part, is reputedly a factor in locals living lengthy lives. Tzikas’ Family Winery near Kassandreia welcomes visitors to its organic vineyard to taste wines, while the Petralona and Tsantali wineries are also worth visiting. 

The region encompasses the autonomous Mount Athos region. Monk Epifanios of Mylopotamos, a renowned chef, reintroduced winemaking to the peninsula after phylloxera devasted vines during World War Two. Vines in the Mylopotamus vineyard grow on the lower slopes of Mount Athos and Limnio grapes provide the eponymous Epifanios red wine with body and minerality.

Peloponnese
Driving or cycling the Peloponnesian wine routes enables visitors to admire landscapes in a region that produces nearly a third of all Greek wine. With seven PDO appellations it presents wine-loving visitors with variety and quality. 

The Mercouri Estate – 40 minutes’ drive from Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympics – was established during the 1860s and is a reason to visit the western Peloponnese. The Monemvasia Winery reproduces a version of Malvasia, a wine that was popular during the Middle Ages, while Lafazanis in Nemea and Domaine Skouras in Argos are also firm favourites of oenophiles. 

The region’s succulent goat stew pairs well with red wines made with Agiorgitiko grapes. Grilled octopus is lifted by aromatic white wines crafted from the Moschofilero varietal. 

Crete
Crete is home to four wine-producing PDO appellations: Archanes, Dafnes, Peza and Sitia. Look for vintages produced using indigenous grapes. Sip white wines made using the Vidiano or Thrapsathiri varietals with roasted rooster. Red wine crafted from Mandilari grapes pairs well with rabbit stifado, a stew slow-cooked with onions and garlic.

Crete’s rugged interior commonly receives a covering of winter snow. Touring vineyards is a reason to head inland through villages with palpable rustic traditions. The Idaia Winery at Veneratou is in a region dotted with the remains of ancient winepresses: evidence of Greece’s lengthy winemaking heritage. Visiting the Diamantakis Winery highlights the adoption of modern equipment and practices.

Click here to find out more

Promotion: AM Resorts

Editor’s letter

The lights are changing

Hello and welcome to the latest issue of ABTA Magazine.

In this edition, we bring you all the latest news – including the latest update to the traffic light system. France has joined destinations such as Spain and Greece on the list of countries that fully vaccinated individuals and their families can travel to without the need to quarantine on return, but, as ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer says, the government is still failing to capitalise fully on the success of the vaccine rollout with a very cautious approach to the green list and failure to relax restrictions on travel. As a result “the UK is falling behind our European competitors and the opening up of international travel from the UK is progressing at a snail’s pace – making it extremely difficult for travel agents and tour operators to generate enough income to kickstart a recovery, which is desperately needed to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods”.

Elsewhere, we take you on tours of the Basque Country, the scenic cycle trails of the UK and the greener, less well known side of Tokyo, plus we pick 10 quarantine-free destinations.

We hope you enjoy reading.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
News

More speakers revealed for Travel Convention

New additions to the hybrid event include Julia Simpson, the new president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council


ABTA has unveiled the latest line-up of expert speakers for this year’s hybrid Travel Convention on Wednesday October 13.

New additions include Manuel Butler, director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK, who will discuss how destinations can rebuild following the impact of the pandemic, and how Spain is leading the way in adapting to changing consumer behaviour.

Also announced is Julia Simpson, who took up her new role as president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council last month. Simpson will address delegates on the importance of strong leadership as the travel and tourism sectors emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.

MD of Intrepid Travel, Zina Bencheikh, and vice president EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ben Bouldin, will join a panel discussion exploring how the industry can place sustainability at the heart of its recovery.

These four new speakers join a list of travel industry big hitters and senior figures from the wider business world, including:

  • Zina Bencheikh, managing director, Intrepid Travel
  • Ben Bouldin, vice president EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises and Chair, CLIA UK & Ireland
  • Manuel Butler, director, Spanish Tourist Office
  • Richard Carret, vice president Alliance development & communications, Star Alliance
  • Mark Colley, managing director, Sunways
  • Susan Deer, director of industry relations, ABTA
  • Graham Hales, brand and marketing expert
  • Suzanne Horner, chair of the Business Travel Association and CEO, Grey Dawes Travel
  • Lucy Huxley, editor in chief, Travel Weekly Group
  • Rachel Johnson, journalist and broadcaster
  • Ailsa Pollard, CEO, dnata Travel Group (UK & Europe)
  • Tom Johnson, managing director, Trajectory
  • Alistair Rowland, ABTA chair and CEO, Blue Bay Travel
  • Julia Simpson, president and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
  • Andrew Swaffield, CCO for the Virgin Group & CEO for Virgin Red
  • Mark Tanzer, chief executive, ABTA
  • Brian Young, managing director, EMEA, G Adventures
  • Mohsin Zaidi, author of A Dutiful Boy
  • Moderator: Chris Ship, royal editor, ITV News

The conference’s theme is ‘Leading the Way – envisaging and inspiring in extraordinary times’.

Topics on the agenda in this year’s keynote speeches, business sessions and panel discussions include how innovations in the world of travel are set to shape the industry, what the future holds for business travel, and how we can adopt new ways of working to build better and fairer organisations.

This year’s Travel Convention is offering delegates the option to attend either in-person at East Wintergarden in London’s Canary Wharf or online via a customised digital platform.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said: “As the travel industry’s flagship event, the Travel Convention always brings together an esteemed list of speakers to debate the most pressing issues facing the travel sector – and this year’s event is no exception.”

News

ABTA launches series of autumn events

Hybrid events, virtual training days and free webinars will be available through ABTA this autumn


ABTA has launched an events schedule for this autumn for the travel industry and its members.

The events are designed to aid travel businesses, large and small, to stay in-the-know on important industry issues, give insights on recovery strategy and provide quality service to customers.

Members and partners will be able to ‘attend’ the events at a reduced rate, while the schedule remains open for the whole travel industry.

To mark the launch of the autumn schedule, ABTA is offering a 10 per cent discount on bookings made until October 8, using code ABTAAUTUMN21 when booking.

Eve Coburn, ABTA’s head of events, said: “We’re offering events on topics that have been in demand, from marketing and finance, to travel law and health and safety, presented by high calibre speakers and experts. We’re pleased to also be offering hybrid events, giving people the choice to attend in person – offering a much missed opportunity to network with industry colleagues – or to attend online. I look forward to seeing you face-to-face or virtually.”

The hybrid events offer participants a choice to attend in person at a central London venue, or to watch the live content virtually through a custom-built platform.

In November, there will be two events taking place in this format, the Travel Trends conference on November 24 and the Travel Regulations Conference on November 30. The former will give participants up-to-date insights on key sector trends, popular destinations, customer sentiments and marketing strategies. The latter will explore practical lessons learnt from the global pandemic, what the industry can expect from new major regulations and what this could mean for travel business.

Virtual training days, meanwhile, will focus on: Travel VAT Training, October 19; Introduction to Health and Safety Risk Management and Auditing for Travel, October 21; and Consumer Law in the Marketing and Selling of Holidays, December 8.

The business resilience webinars will be free to attend for ABTA Members and Partners. Upcoming webinars in this series include: Decarbonising Tourism in November; and Accessible Travel Tourism in December, with more to be announced shortly.

ABTA has produced new guidance to help members understand the role of merchant acquirers and their approach to risk in our industry and assist members with liaising with merchant acquirers on topics including chargebacks and requests for additional security.

The new webpage is available in the Member Zone in the Running Your Business area. See more here.

ABTA

Ask the experts

Have a burning question you can’t find the answer to? Be it travel trends, a regulatory riddle or destination dilemmas, send us your query for an expert response


Last month’s announcement of the simplification of the traffic light scheme and taking more countries off the red list was great news for the industry and I’m now getting a lot more booking enquiries. However, I’m still a bit unsure of what advice to give customers, particularly those with children. Could you tell me what I need to know to book help them book with confidence and where I should look for the most accurate and up to date information?

It is good to see that the changes introduced to the traffic light system on October 4 are encouraging bookings. We understand that it can still be a difficult process to navigate and provide guidance to customers and know that being able to offer support to ensure they meet any travel requirements in place will enable them to prepare in advance for their well-earned holiday and book and travel with confidence.

Although it often receives the most attention, it is worth remembering that the traffic light system only determines the rules for entry back into the UK and solely focuses on Covid-19 tests and quarantine requirements that may be needed for this purpose. Alongside this advice, as was the case before the pandemic, it is also important to check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) country travel advice.

We always recommend checking the FCDO travel advice as a starting point to see if there is any advice against travel to a destination and whether there are any other restrictions on entry, including vaccination and Covid-19 testing requirements. As well as entry restrictions, this is also the place to check what other mandatory requirements are in place in a destination such as wearing face coverings or providing proof of vaccination or a negative test result when accessing restaurants or other public places. Rules for children are often different and vary by country, you will find details of any specific requirements here.

Once you have shared this information with your customer, checking the traffic light rules that apply on their return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland will provide additional details for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers on any testing and quarantine requirements as well as completing Passenger Locator Forms. A great place to find out more information is the #ReadySteadyTravel hub on ABTA.com which features up-to-date information for customers including what you need to know about foreign travel from October along with a wealth of other useful information such as travel blogs and top tips.

Heather Pennock, Destinations Manager – Health, Safety, Crisis & Operations

ABTA

Meet the team

Each issue, we’ll be introducing you to a member of the ABTA team. This time, it’s Eve Coburn, head of Events


 

I joined the events team at ABTA in February 2017. At that point we were a team of six and were running approx. 30 events across the year in addition to ABTA’s flagship Travel Convention. Skip forward to February 2020, just before the pandemic hit, and we were on track to run over double the amount of events and with a team of nine.

It has been amazing to watch the events programme develop and evolve over the past four years as demand from members increased and we ran practical seminars and conferences alongside new initiatives, new regulation and policy. I don’t think anyone will forget when GDPR came in!

I joined ABTA having taken six months to travel around the world and with international event experience working for a publishing company specialising in central banks and monetary policy. Prior to that I lived in Amsterdam, so it is fair to say I have always loved travel.

My role at ABTA is to lead the events team and manage our portfolio of conferences and events. ABTA offers a varied and high quality events programme, designed to keep the travel industry up to date on important, business critical issues, with practical guidance and training. It has been a strange period since the pandemic hit and I am very proud of how the team has adapted and worked throughout, alongside other departments, to provide support for members. From the beginning the team pulled together to react to the needs of members via a new weekly webinar series in collaboration with ABTA’s partners to provide free support. Our first webinar took place at the beginning of April 2020 and they are still going strong. We have also been organising bi-weekly member conference calls that I moderate.

One of the most exciting aspects of my job, and something I am really looking forward to, is regrowing the events schedule as we recover from the pandemic. Having consulted with members, we have just launched our autumn events series and I am pleased to say we are now offering virtual training days and hybrid conferences – giving delegates the flexibility to attend in person or virtually. Another important aspect of my job at the moment is to ensure that we balance everyone’s needs with changing circumstances and concerns. I am looking forward to bringing people together, but I am also conscious of ensuring maximum value for those who are unable to travel at the moment. The team have therefore put a lot of work into not only the content we offer, but also the new formats and platforms. We have worked closely with other ABTA departments, including the partnership team, and have just launched two hybrid conferences that I am particularly excited about, firstly the Travel Trends Conference on November 24 and, secondly, the Travel Regulations Conference on November 30.

ABTA is uniquely positioned to offer support and guidance in a number of areas: from complaints handling and crisis management to marketing techniques and regulatory and financial matters. We will be offering practical training days on a variety of topics and will be continually launching these throughout the year.

Never has there been a more important time for members to come together at our events, hear updates from peers in the industry and get practical guidance and questions answered from ABTA and industry experts. I am continually grateful for the feedback we receive from members and their willingness to speak and share their experiences.

We will soon begin work on our largest 2022 events, the two-day travel law, travel finance and travel marketing conferences, as well as Travel Matters, which brings together industry leaders to discuss the most pressing issues facing the industry.

10 no quarantine destinations

Double-jabbed Brits can travel to these holiday hotspots without the need to quarantine

Malta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Packed with treasures, British holiday favourite Malta is a sun-soaked archipelago brimming with UNESCO World Heritage sites, historical gems and glittering beaches.

Just a three-hour flight from the UK and boasting 300 sunny days a year, Malta’s year-round warmth is a big draw, along with the fact that you’re never more than a 15-minute drive from the sea.

Entry requirements for Malta
Only fully vaccinated travellers can travel to green-listed Malta from the UK and they must have been jabbed more than 14 days before travel.

Acceptable proof of vaccination status includes the NHS Covid Pass letter and digital Covid passes, including the NHS app and the vaccination certificate in digital or downloaded PDF form.

Children aged from five to 11 can travel to Malta if they are accompanied by vaccinated adults with proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours from arrival in Malta. Children under five are not required to be tested. Anyone aged 12 and over will need proof of vaccination.

Everyone must complete a Public Health Travel Declaration Form and a Passenger Locator Form before departure.

Find out more here.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Boasting 365 heavenly beaches – one for each day of the year – Antigua is famed for its year-round sunshine and world-class sailing.

Don’t overlook under-the-radar sister island Barbuda: it’s a paradise for wildlife with the largest colony of frigate birds in the world.

Entry requirements for Antigua and Barbuda
Currently on the UK’s green list, the following entry rules apply to all travellers, regardless of vaccination status. No-one is permitted to enter the country who has spent the past 14 days in Brazil or South Africa.

All arriving passengers aged 12 years and older must show evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken within seven days of their flight. Holidaymakers need to complete a Health Declaration Form upon arrival.

Visitors will receive medical screenings and have their temperature taken at the airport and may be asked to take a test on arrival or at their hotel as determined by the health authorities. This test costs $100 (£72). The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office warns of “long waiting times on arrival” at the airport.

Regardless of vaccination status, tourists can normally travel straight to certified tourism accommodation after screening and be allowed to move around the country freely.

Find out more here.

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Balearic Islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located off Spain’s east coast, the popular Balearic Islands include Majorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Menorca.

Majorca is the largest island with a clutch of hedonistic resorts in the south and luxury boutique resorts in the north. Hidden gem Formentera is known for its Caribbean-like beaches and hippy vibe, while Menorca is a hit with families who favour its quiet beaches and megalithic sites. Ibiza’s main resort San Antonio is famed for its club scene, but the island’s pretty north coast is awash with secluded beaches.

Entry requirements for the Balearic Islands
British travellers entering the Balearics will need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of travel or show proof of vaccination (an NHS Covid Pass or NHS letter). Anyone using vaccination status needs to have received their second jab at least 14 days before travel. These rules apply to all Brits aged 12 and over.

A health check form also needs to be completed by all visitors before travel.

Find out more here.

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Madeira and Porto Santo

The tiny volcanic island of Madeira is popular with Brits thanks to its perennial sunshine, tropical landscape and scenic mountains.

Must-do activities include hiking past waterfalls on the Levada do Caldeirão Verde trail; admiring Portuguese architecture in cosmopolitan capital Funchal; and taking the cable car to Monte Palace Madeira.

Entry requirements for Madeira and Porto Santo
Regardless of vaccination status, Brits don’t need to quarantine when visiting Madeira, which is on the UK’s green watchlist.

All travellers aged 12 and over need to complete a traveller questionnaire before visiting the Portuguese archipelago.

On arrival, visitors must either show proof of vaccination status or present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival (if not uploaded to their passenger questionnaire). Anyone unable to show either of these certificates can take a Covid-19 test at the airport and remain in their accommodation for about 12 hours until the results are known.

Find out more here

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Greece

Greece’s mainland and islands are a magnet for Brits seeking sun-kissed beaches and mouth-watering cuisine.

Steeped in history, Greece is bursting with ancient treasures, including the Acropolis citadel in Athens and the spectacular mountaintop monasteries of Meteora.

Entry requirements for Greece
All visitors need to have completed a Passenger Locator Form no later than 11.56pm (local time Greece) the day before arriving in Greece.

Travellers over the age of 12 also need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or proof of a negative rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory taken within a 48-hour period before your arrival or Greece, or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

Greece will also accept proof of recovery from Covid-19; evidence of a positive Covid-19 PCR test result taken 30 to 180 days before your travel dates can be used.

Find out more here.

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Portugal

 

Portugal is awash with golden beaches, labyrinthine cities, fresh cuisine and ancient history that can be experienced in its medieval town centres.

Year-round sunshine ensures the country’s enduring popularity with visitors from around the world, drawn by its heavenly beaches, expansive golf courses, gastronomy and wine.

Entry requirements for Portugal
To avoid quarantining on arrival in Portugal, travellers need to show proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

Anyone aged from 12 to 17 travelling with fully vaccinated parents do not need to quarantine, but must provide a negative test result.

Everyone aged 12 and over will need to complete a passenger locator card and have their temperature taken on arrival.

Kids aged 11 and under do not need to quarantine or take a test.

Find out more here.

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Canary Islands

The sun-baked Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa has seven islands, with top draws including Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

Just a four-hour flight from the UK, the volcanic islands have a winning formula for Brits with their comely beaches and year-round sunshine.

Tenerife attracts holidaymakers with its sandy beaches, luxury resorts, water parks and party scene; Lanzarote packs a punch with its dramatic lunar landscape; and Gran Canaria is famous for its charming mountain villages and sensational sand dunes.

Entry requirements for the Canary Islands
British travellers entering the Canary Islands will need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of travel, show proof of vaccination (an NHS Covid Pass or NHS letter), or show a certificate stating the holder has recovered from Covid-19 issued at least 11 days after your first positive test. The certificate is valid for 180 days.

Anyone using vaccination status needs to have received their second jab at least 14 days before travel. These rules apply to all Brits aged 12 and over.

A health check form also needs to be completed by all visitors before travel.

Find out more here.

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Cyprus

Ticking all the boxes for sun-starved Brits, balmy Cyprus is blessed with heavenly beaches, a rich history, awe-inspiring vistas and culinary treats.

As the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, Cyprus provides the ideal setting for weddings thanks to its short flight and guaranteed sunshine.

Away from the coast, visitors can play golf on first-class courses, explore the wine routes, bliss out in a luxury spa, or trek one of the island’s numerous walking trails through shady pine forests and rugged mountains.

Entry requirements for Cyprus
All visitors to Cyprus complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before their journey.

Travellers who can prove their double vaccination status do not need to take a PCR test before departure or on arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. They must then do another PCR test upon arrival at the airport. Test results should be available online within three hours. Unvaccinated visitors then need to take a PCR test every seven days following arrival.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from testing.

Find out more here.

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Gibraltar

The tiny nation state of Gibraltar is only 10 square kilometres in size, but packs a lot of personality into the small town and 426m high rock it calls home.

A British Overseas Territory since 1713, Gibraltar offers classic full English breakfasts, red post boxes, afternoon tea and pints of London Pride, all with a side helping of sun, sea and sangria.

Brits can feel at home while getting a taste of the exotic – boisterous macaque monkeys jostle for space on the famous rock, which also boasts views across the water to Morocco.

Entry requirements for Gibraltar
All fully vaccinated visitors to Gibraltar must upload their vaccination certificate onto the Passenger Locator Form. You must also book a lateral flow test before arriving in Gibraltar and this must be taken within 24 hours of arrival. If you’re staying for more than seven days, you must also take a second test on day five.

If you are unvaccinated, you must have a lateral flow test taken no more than 48 hours before your flight to Gibraltar. You must also book a lateral flow test to be taken within 24 hours of your arrival. If you’re staying for more than seven days, you must also take a second test on day five.

Find out more here.

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Iceland

Otherworldly Iceland is a hit with travellers seeking to revel in nature’s raw power.

Explore spurting geysers, luminous glaciers and steaming hot springs, before wallowing in one of the country’s many soothing thermal pools.

Topping the list of bucket-list experiences is snorkelling between tectonic plates at Silfra in Thingvellir National Park.

Aside from its photogenic scenery, the volcanic island is known for its friendliness and some of the freshest seafood on earth.

Entry rules for Iceland
Brits are only allowed to enter green-listed Iceland if they have been fully vaccinated or have previously recovered from Covid-19. All travellers must pre-register here before visiting.

Travellers will also need to present a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test no more than 72 hours before departing to Iceland. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from testing and quarantine.

Find out more here.

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