With the trade battling with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, we have received requests from readers and partners to also highlight the positive stories emerging from the industry in these difficult times.

We will endeavour to update this feed alongside our rolling news blog in order to support and encourage you all in these difficult circumstances.

We are regularly updating our Resource Centre with advice and guidance from industry and business experts.

If you have any submissions for Travel’s Good Deed Feed, please email them to Eleanor.kirk@travelweekly.co.uk.


Intrepid Travel launches #BeTogether initiative

Intrepid Travel has launched a community engagement initiative to help its customers stay connected during the travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The tour operator has turned over its social media channels to 100% user-generated content, under the hashtag #BeTogether.

Intrepid is encouraging people to share letters to someone who has made their travel experience special – with examples including homestay hosts, fellow travelers they met on group tours or their travel agent.

The first letter came from a blind man in Colorado and was written to his Inca Trail porter Elias.

A video has also been created to support the campaign:


Project-Wingman

Airline crews support frontline NHS staff

Project Wingman was launched in the UK on Friday 3rd April at the Whittington Hospital in North London to support frontline NHS workers during the current coronavirus crisis.

In just under a week, the project has extended to North Middlesex, Basildon, Southend and Mid-Essex hospitals.

The project provides doctors, nurses and other health professionals with refreshments, a chance to unwind or have a conversation with a colleague in an airport lounge environment.

There are currently over 1200 volunteer crew in Project Wingman from different UK airlines including Norwegian, easyJet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Flybe, Jet2 and Loganair.


Spring Hotels gives away 1000 hotel stays to key workers

Spring Hotels in Spain will be thanking health workers, supermarket employees, police officers, military personnel and pharmacists for all of their help during the coronavirus crisis.

The hotel chain is giving away 1000 nights in their hotels so that when all of this is over, our key workers can enjoy being looked after themselves.


Gold Medal gets the seal of approval from Judge Rinder


Tom-the-Traveller

Homeworkers help home-schoolers with ‘Tom The Traveller’ character

Homeworkers from The Personal Travel Agents have launched a new social media initiative to help entertain and educate children while they are being home-schooled.

‘Tom The Traveller’, with his puzzles, games, quizzes and brain teasers, made his debut on social media on March 26. Agents have since been sharing his content on their own social media channels with friends and customers.

A new travel-themed puzzle is shared every day, including word searches, spot the difference, fill in the blanks, flag quizzes, geography quizzes and wildlife knowledge puzzles.

Personal Travel Agent Laura Bennett said: “Tom The Traveller is a fantastic way to engage with my customers at this time. It’s a clever and positive way to maintain a presence in my clients’ newsfeeds, whilst giving those who are at home with children, a helping hand in keeping the little ones occupied. The puzzles also keep everyone dreaming of their next holiday.”

The series of social media posts featuring Tom The Traveller is set to run until 9 April. After this, the full set of puzzles will be available to download as a PDF.

Tom2


Hotel Brooklyn Manchester donates to front line workers

The Hotel Brooklyn Manchester, which only opened in February, had a huge stock of food and other provisions when it closed it’s doors during the coronavirus crisis.

To ensure nothing went to waste, everything has been donated to front line workers and those in need.


Delta Air Lines donates excess food to people in need 

The airline is providing more than 200,000 pounds of food to hospitals, community food banks and other organizations around the world to support people in need as well as those working on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both perishable and non-perishable goods are being donated after Delta adjusted service offerings on board and in Delta Sky Clubs to reduce contact between customers and employees. As a result, Delta has been left with food that would have expired before it could be served to customers.


Metropolitan Touring helps Ecuadorian government acquire health equipment 

Ecuadorian tour operator and DMC Metropolitan Touring has been working with the Ecuadorian Government Council to help them acquire testing and health equipment to combat the spread and impact of coronavirus in the Galapagos Islands.

Alongside other operators in the area, Metropolitan Touring has also created a remote call centre for the Galapagos to support local authorities in answering inhabitants’ calls and web chats about suspected symptoms.


Sandals Resorts announces NHS workers discount

Unique Caribbean Holidays Ltd, the UK tour operator for Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has announced a discount of 10% for NHS workers to thank them for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The discount can be applied to bookings made to any of the 18 Sandals and Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean, and is valid for both accommodation-only and flight-inclusive package holidays.

Agents can make bookings for NHS staff by phone and the discount will be applied once a copy of the client’s NHS card is sent to the UCHL operations team.

Karl Thompson, Managing Director of Unique Caribbean Holidays Ltd., said: “Whilst we appreciate that no-one is able to travel right now, especially our critical NHS workers, we want to offer NHS staff 10% off their next Sandals and Beaches Holiday, as a small token of our appreciation. These are the people who are on the front line every day, fighting this pandemic and saving lives. When the time comes, we want to welcome NHS staff to our resorts in the Caribbean where we hope that they can enjoy a well-deserved break. We’d like to thank all of our health workers everything they have done and continue to do to keep all of us safe and well.”


Orcas

Orcas spotted in the Alphonese Group, Seychelles

Blue Safari Seychelles has spotted a pod of Orcas off the west coast of Alphonse Island on a recent training dive trip. This is the first time the mammals have been spotted near Alphonse Island.

The pod comprised of roughly seven to nine Orcas, and was observed for around an hour enjoying the tropical waters.

Orcas are found in oceans all over the world, but are rarely spotted in warmer waters. This was the first encounter of its kind for the Blue Safari Seychelles team and the first time Orcas have ever been seen in the Alphonse Group.


Take a few moments to relax with Kuoni


Plateau International clients help bring that holiday feeling home

Plateau International’s newsletter has been showcasing signature recipes from around the world, courtesy of their clients, to bring subscribers that feel-good holiday feeling at home.

The Fullerton Hotel in Sydney shares a take on the famed Singapore Sling. This refreshing cocktail is made with Australian gin and infused with delicious flavours reminiscent of Australia, it’s called the Sydney Sling.

Lotus Cruises shares a guest favourite on board their cruises on the Mekong. A blend of ingredients highlight the flavours of southeast Asia in the chef’s own recipe for Authentic Cambodian Beef Lok Lak.

And Asia Bespoke bring a refreshing dessert for warmer days. Halo-halo is a popular Filipino street food sundae in rainbow colours and a great way to entice kids to eat more fruit.

You can view all recipes here. Let us know if you try one for yourself, and make sure to send us a photo of your finished product!


Brand USA launches agent quiz

The Brand USA UK & Ireland trade team sends a monthly newsletter to agents signed up to their online training programme, the USA Discovery Program.

From April, the newsletter will give agents access to the Insider Guide webinar series.  The broadcasts will include a USA-themed quiz with prizes up for grabs.

The next webinar will take place on 8th April at 10am.

The newsletters also include links to GoUSA TV, Spotify playlists and a photo-memory competition.


Take a moment to breathe


A message of support from the Kuoni team


Holiday cancelled? Don’t let that stop you having fun!


Did you know this? It might just come in handy

DJ_Thread1

DJ_Thread2


Boots-Flybe

Flybe pilot swaps the cockpit for the frontline

First officer James Clowes is working with Boots UK to help distribute medicines on behalf of the NHS in his local community.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, he said it has been a real eye opener but is finding it incredibly rewarding.

He posted on LinkedIn, saying: “The last few weeks have been the saddest and most challenging in my professional life, this time last year I was embarking on a new chapter joining the Flybe family flying the MIGHTY Dash 8! Today I’m turning my hand, privileged to serve alongside the Boots UK frontline staff and their tireless efforts supporting the vulnerable within our local communities delivering essential pharmaceuticals during these COVID19 challenging times.”


Martin Lewis Corona Fund donates to Abta LifeLine

DerekJones_Tweet


Former BA and Thomas Cook pilot steps in as Tesco delivery driver


Try a home workout with an AmaWaterways’ wellness host


The Port of Seattle and Northwest Seaport Alliance makes port available to US Army

Sections of Terminal 46 will be made available for trailers, container equipment and storage needs in support of the U.S. Army’s Field Hospital 10 at Century Link Exhibition Centre.

John McCarthy and Peter Steinbrueck, Port commission presidents and co-chairs of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, said in a joint statement that the NWSA was “uniquely situated” to assist with efforts to contain the pandemic.

“We greatly value the opportunity to work with all entities to protect the health and safety of our region during this time of crisis,” they said.


Geoffrey Kent offers some words of hope

View this post on Instagram

You may have noticed I’ve been quieter than usual the past few weeks. All of my attention has been wholly focused on looking after our guests on the ground and getting them home safely. I’m incredibly grateful to each and every one of our staff around the world who have worked tirelessly to ensure that our guests were looked after as if they were our own family. COVID-19 has completely changed the way we travel, work, and live – for now. I’m speaking to you from Brazil – a place I love – where I’m spending time with my family. It is my hope that during this time, you seek out the things that inspire you. For many of us, myself included, travel is often the source of new ideas. So, until the day when we can once again explore the world around us – in person – I’ll be reflecting on past travels and sharing some of my most inspiring experiences, favorite places and unforgettable moments. I encourage you to do the same.

A post shared by Geoffrey Kent (@geoffrey_kent) on


Quinta do Lago donates €50,000 to local hospitals 

Quinta do Lago resort has donated €50,000 to local hospitals in the Algarve to help supply medical equipment that can be used throughout the current crisis.

This latest donation is part of a total €300,000 donation made by residents and business owners in the area.


Tui Airways cabin crew volunteer for St John Ambulance

Cabin crew will be deployed across hospitals nationwide supporting a new St John Ambulance initiative to help tackle coronavirus by relieving pressure on the NHS.

The St John Ambulance Covid-19 volunteering scheme will place trained volunteers into essential NHS wards and departments to free up staff to fight the crisis on the frontline.

They will support with a range of tasks, from caring for the elderly to basic monitoring of patients, transporting medication and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, helping keep the NHS running as smoothly as possible during the pandemic.


Update: Graeme Brett shaves his head for The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust

Frustrated about not being able to get his haircut while working from home, Graeme Brett promised to shave his head if enough people sponsored him.

Graeme has raised triple his £50 goal for The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, set up in memory of former apprentice Chloe Rutherford and her boyfriend Liam Curry, who died in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

Donations are still being accepted here.


Agency supports NHS with window display

Sussex-based travel agency Beacon Travel has decorated its high street shop window in Crowborough to say thank you to NHS staff working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Paul Philpott took to Twitter to share the agency’s gesture.


Fred. Olsen crew sing Heal the World

Crew members from across Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ocean fleet have put together a rendition of Michael Jackson’s song Heal the World to raise spirits to its customers.

Those working in entertainment, hospitality and housekeeping on ships Balmoral, Black Watch and Braemaruding recorded the song from their homes across the world, and some from on board the ships. Watch it below.


United front

United Airlines is providing free round-trip flights to New York City for medical volunteers who want to help in the frontline fight against Covid-19. The airline is working with the city’s Mayor’s Fund to and medical volunteer organisations in the US, including The Society of Critical Care Medicine, to coordinate travel for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from across the US to help treat patients.


Mealy good idea

London hotel Strand Palace is to deliver free meals to the London Ambulance Service and remain open for key workers only as it closes its doors to the general public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of its MealForce initiative, more than 600 meals will be supplied daily to ambulance control rooms across London, including in Barking, Bow, Croydon and Waterloo.

Strand


A message from Culture Holidays during this crisis 

We know this situation is quite stressful for everyone especially travel industry. I know people are losing jobs, loss in businesses and many other things. In our country also we are having locked down and our offices are closed. Obviously it is having an impact on the business.

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during such situation.

But do you think that taking the stress or just worrying about the problem will help?

Is this situation under your control? No, so what is better..focus on what you can control or what you can’t control.

This situation is not in your control, but don’t you think that many people are even in a worst case scenario than you are and you still have many blessings which you can be thankful for.

Shouldn’t you be thankful that you are still alive and breathing, you are having a house to live in, you are having food to eat, you are having this internet that’s why you can still work and create opportunities for you.

The even more thankful you are, the more beauty you will certainly see.

Understand that whatever you focus on, you experience– because, anywhere focus goes, power flows. If you’re continuously guiding focus on what you can’t manage, exactly how are you going to really feel?

it’s purposeless to frequently focus on what’s stressful if your desire is to make it better. Unless.you’re acting to create actual adjustment, you’ll. have no chance to suffer delight unless your focus is guided towards your objective.

Stressing over circumstances outside your control will lead to undesirable anxiety. Just take into consideration the physiological and also emotional toll it can take on your body

When you focus on what’s missing from your life, you will be left with feelings of emptiness and unhappiness.

When you concentrate on what you do have, you will certainly experience real gratitude. Training yourself for gratefulness will create endless chances for you

The key to success is to understand that while we do not have control over a number of the universal pressures , we do have control over exactly how we react to it and also what we select to concentrate on.

Stay safe, Stay thankful…We all will be out of this situation soon.


AWTE is raising money for Breast Cancer Haven 

Breast Cancer Haven are suffering with lack of funds, as events have been cancelled due to the current global situation.

The charity has launched the ‘20 second Lip Sync Challenge’ to raise awareness and money.

To take part:

• Record a 20 second  clip of yourself lip-syncing to your favourite song
• Upload it onto Twitter tagging @breastcancerhaven and @AWTEUK, and using the hashtag #lipsyncchallenge 
• Challenge your friends and family (at least three people) to do the same thing
• Donate to Breast Cancer Haven here.

By taking part, you will be helping the NHS in supporting people with breast cancer at this difficult time.


Oyo-Carers

OYO announces free room nights for NHS workers

OYO Hotels & Homes is giving the public a chance to thank NHS workers by gifting them a good night’s sleep at one of their hotels.

Overnight stays can be booked on OYO Rooms for Carers at the cost of £25 per room, per night.

The room nights at the virtual hotel will then be passed over to NHS trusts for frontline healthcare workers to redeem at their nearest OYO hotel.


Saga cruise chip lights up for Clap for Carers 

SagaCarers


A key member of staff is furloughed at Malvern World Travel


Agent launches competition to thank key workers

Paul Knapper, owner of Spires Travel in Worcester, came up with the idea to give away a weekend for two in Budapest in January 2021 by asking customers and friends to nominate their favourite key workers for the prize.

Knapper, who has stumped up the cash to pay for the three-night holiday with return flights, said it was his way of saying thank you to all the key workers helping to fight the battle against coronavirus.

The competition, posted on Twitter, Instagram and the agency’s own Facebook page, says: “We are so grateful to our key workers! Thank you for everything you are doing! And now we want to give back.”

It asks people to nominate key workers, tag them in the post, and say why they deserved to win the prize.


Loganair converts aircraft to carry COVID-19 patients for Scottish Ambulance Service

Loganair-Ambulance

A Loganair Twin Otter aircraft has been converted into an additional air ambulance aircraft, allowing it carry Epishuttle isolation pods for the safe carriage of Covid-19 patients by air.

The aircraft will be based at Glasgow Airport but can operate throughout Scotland. Loganair pilots will be operating the aircraft as usual.

The airline is also working to convert a larger Saab 340 aircraft, capable of operating into all Highlands and Islands airports apart from Barra, to become an air ambulance with the capability to carry two Epishuttle pods and accompanying medical teams simultaneously.


Wellbeing Wednesday

Advantage Travel Partnership is offering a Digital Wellbeing and Covid-19 webinar to its members next week. It will be hosted by founder of Live More Offline, Alex La Vie, and talk about practical changes people can make to create a more happy, healthy and productive day during the current lockdown. It’s part of Advantage’s Wellbeing Wednesday strategy.


A personal thank you to First Class Holidays and Cathay Pacific from Ken Garrity at Ken Garrity Travel

“A shout out to all the staff at First Class Holidays for their excellent work and endurance. I had clients stuck in Australia. Their flights were cancelled and re-booked by the airline. They should have flown from Sydney to Hong Kong and then on to Manchester.

“Cathay Pacific re-booked their flights home via Paris with an 11 hour stopover. – not good. We managed to change the clients dates to bring them home a week earlier on their original itinerary to Manchester.

“It took three days to sort out, but the day before they were due to fly to Hong Kong the government ceased allowing any transit passengers into the country. My clients arrived from Sydney at 10pm, just before the new rules came into force, but the Hong Kong-Manchester flight departed at 1.35am, just after the curfew.

“My clients were asleep at this time in Australia, so I contacted Ally at First Class holidays, again, at 4pm that evening.  We spent four hours until 8pm to sort this out as we all thought there should be a way around this.

“Luckily we got Keith from Cathay Pacific to help and with his aid we got a letter of dispensation allowing our clients (and others) to transit. These were the last passengers to be able to do this.

“Great service from Ally and all staff at First Class. Thank you also to Keith at Cathay Pacific. My clients were delighted.

“Due to the time difference (they were 11 hours ahead) we had less than 12 hours to sort this out. As they slept we solved the problem. They woke up at 7am on the day of the flight and I called them to give them the good news. They were totally unaware of the trauma.

“So many stories have been like this but this was very close to disaster. Take care, keep well and we will all hopefully come through this.”


Hair’s a good idea

Graeme Brett, owner of Westoe Travel in South Shields, is getting frustrated about not being able to get his haircut while working from home. But he’s turned the negative into a positive by offering to shave his head if enough people sponsor him. Money raised will go to the trust set up in memory of former apprentice Chloe Rutherford and her boyfriend Liam Curry, who died in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.


Keeping the kids entertained

Travel Weekly has compiled a list of useful resources for parents who are at home with children following the closure of schools across the country.

It’s great to see children and parents enjoying them already! You can download an array of kids activity packs here.

KidsPack


Hôtel Chais Monnet gives back to the community of Cognac

Hôtel Chais Monnet is preparing and delivering 365 freshly cooked meals to the town’s central hospital for doctors, nurses and carers. This will be the first of the hotel’s multiple planned meal deliveries during the pandemic.

The project is part of a wider movement across France called ‘Chefs with Caregivers’, a network of top restaurants cooking for doctors, nurses and carers in this time of crisis.


Football-Escapes

Football Escapes launches holiday competition to raise funds for NHS workers

Football Escapes and FE Luxury Travel have launched a competition to raise funds for NHS staff, while giving those who donate the chance to win a family holiday of their own.

Every £10 donation will be automatically entered into a draw to win a Football Escapes holiday to Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort Limassol in Cyprus.

The competition closes on Friday 24th April, and you can donate here.


A personal thank you from Alice Bayly at Experience Travel Group

“The Maudsley Charity put out an urgent request for soap for their nurses which a neighbor of mine forwarded to our street Whatsapp. I work for specialist tour operator Experience Travel Group and it occurred to me that with lots of hotels closing there might be some spare bathroom amenities floating around.

“We sent the request out to our hotel contacts and Helen Browning, Purchasing Manager at Como Hotels came straight back to me saying that their London hotel (Como Metropolitan) was closing that day and they had 400 individually wrapped soaps they could donate.

“I put her in touch with the Maudsley Charity and by the evening they were picked up from the hotel and on their way to the hospital in Denmark Hill. Job done!”


Quinta do Lago golf resort donates excess produce

Algarve golf resort Quinta do Lago is supporting local communities throughout this period of uncertainty by donating all produce that could not be used in the now-closed restaurants to local welfare charities in Quarteira and Almancil.


Preferred Hotels & Resorts launches positive initiatives 

The Hari Hotel in London is extending a helping hand to those in the local community, offering to either collect or delivery shopping; placing a friendly phone call to those in need; collecting urgent supplies from the pharmacy; or posting mail for those who can’t leave the house.

The K Club in Ireland is housing healthcare workers and those suffering with illness in the hotel’s 134 rooms, free of charge.

Bobby Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee will be streaming live music shows from local artists on the IGTV channel @bobbyhotel.

Dromoland Castle in Ireland has teamed up with Limerick artist Una Heaton to give arts and crafts lessons on the hotel’s YouTube channel to help parents homeschooling their children.


Jet2.com donates thousands of snack boxes to charities 

Jet2-delivery

The airline has donated snack boxes, which contain a chocolate flapjack, Pretzels, Italian cheese, crackers and Pizette cheese, to charities in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire that support the elderly and the homeless.

Donations have been made to Otley Action for Older People, Age UK’s Manchester Resource Centre and SPIN (Supporting People in Need) Manchester, a charitable organisation that feeds, shelters and supports both the homeless and people in need.


Do you know a key worker who deserves to win a holiday?


It’s the little things that make a difference


Not all heroes wear capes


Explore the US…from your armchair

Visit The USA is urging Brits to have “all-American armchair adventures” while we’re all confined to our front rooms.

Would-be adventurers can stream travel shows through GoUSA TV – Visit The USA’s video content platform which showcases the great outdoors, foodie hotspots and road trips across the States.

Fans of the great outdoors can watch documentaries about US national parks on Google Arts & Culture – while culture vultures can view live-streamed shows from The Metropolitan Opera in New York.

If you fancy recreating American cuisine at home, the tourist board recommends Sorted Food on YouTube – you can try gumbo from New Orleans, tacos from Los Angeles, deep-dish pizza from Chicago, or key lime pie from Florida.


Giles Hawke raises money for NHS staff

Cosmos and Avalon Waterways chief executive Giles Hawke is growing a beard to raise money for NHS staff.

He will donate £1 for every day we are all social distancing – we’re wondering just how long his beard is going to get!

You can keep up with his progress on his Twitter page, where he posts regular photo updates of his beard.


SeaWorld

SeaWorld Parks continue rescue work

Although all SeaWorld Parks are temporarily closed, animal rescue work is continuing behind the scenes.

SeaWorld Orlando welcomed it’s 12th rescued manatee, brought to the park by Florida Fish & Wildlife suffering from cold stress, while three critically endangered sea turtles were returned to the Ocean off the Florida coast.

In San Diego, a northern elephant seal was rescued and brought to SeaWorld’s Animal Health and Rescue Center and five sea lions were returned to the wild after being rehabilitated having been found severely injured.


“We are still here for you,” says Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has shared photos of its staff all working from home, as it assures customers and trade partners “we are still here for you”.

The guest services and reservations call centres, comprising 60 team members, are working from home, and these teams, along with trade support, have shared photos to show their support.

Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “People like dealing with people and we know that our guests like to have that point of contact with our team here, perhaps now more than ever.”

“This is equally as important for our travel agent partners,” he added. “And our trade support team remains on hand to help you as together we work through this challenging period.”

FOCruise

 


Aegean Airlines to deliver medical supplies

Aegean Airlines is partnering with Hellenic Petroleum to deliver medical and pharmaceutical supplies.

Together, they will initially offer 10 free flights to China, parts of Asia and other countries that produce supplies that can be carried by Aegean aircraft.

So far, the airline has completely revamped two of its passenger aircraft: one of its A320s and one of its A321s, to maximise space.

Aegean aircraft


ITC creates interactive magazine to keep ‘spirits high’

Luxury tour operator ITC has created an interactive magazine entitled ‘The Ultimate Guide to your Holiday From Home’, to help the trade keep travel front of mind with their customers during the lockdown.

Read the full story here.


Althams Travel doing their bit for our NHS

Althams Travel is redeploying vehicles that would normally be used for its airport transfer service to deliver prescriptions to coronavirus patients’ homes.

The agency is helping the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, by driving NHS staff to patients’ homes with prescriptions.

Click here to read the full story.


Riches’ isolation XI

Missing football in this period of isolation? So, it appears, is travel trade consultant and former Bedswithease, Youtravel and Cosmos sales boss Paul Riches.

He’s used household items to create a squad of ‘footballers’, which might make a few fans smile. We like Harry Mug-wire the best.


Contiki launches movie club

Contiki has announced it will launch a weekly film club to help keep the travel community connected.

The Contiki Movie Club, which will show the first film on April 2, will be hosted on Netflix Party, and viewers will be invited to discuss some of the topics in the film.

The first first, Eat, Pray, Love will be shown at 9am UK time on April 2. Dates for future films will be announced on social media and viewers are encouraged to nominate their favourite films.

Contiki movie nights


Tour operator launches raffle for NHS staff

Luxury tour operator Original Travel has launched a raffle exclusively for NHS staff, and so far more than 60 brands have donated prizes.

The raffle, which will be open on April 7, has so far collected more than 200 prizes at a combined value of over £20,000.

Read the full story here.


Short-term rental companies launch ‘NHS Homes’ scheme

A new scheme has been launched by six partners in the short-term let industry for NHS workers in London to access free accommodation and other amenities.

UnderTheDoormat, onefinestay, International Altido and LoveHomeSwap will be offering free accommodation in partnership with their property owners.

Meanwhile, Laundryheap will deliver clean towels and fresh linen to the medical staff, while Homes & Villas by Marriott, will be opening up its amenities to staff.

The UK Short-Term Accommodation Association is promoting the scheme.


Online travel retailer donates £125k worth of compression socks for NHS

Glasgow-based online travel retailer Trtl has donated 5,000 pairs of compression socks, worth £125,000, to frontline nurses in Scotland.

The colourful socks will help nurses in six Scottish hospitals fight fatigue as they work to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

Michael Corrigan, CEO of Trtl, said: “Nurses across the UK will be tested as never before in the coming weeks and if we can do something to help make the time they spend on their feet more comfortable, we must.”

Small_NHS nurses wearing Trtl compression socks


NHS staff offered free amendments with Jet2

Jet2 and Jet2holidays is offering NHS staff and emergency workers free holiday amendments.

The fees for changes have been waived for departures in the next three months.

Read the full story here.


Motivation through music

Insight Vacations has created a Spotify playlist to help keep spirits up in the difficult period. The playlist consists of motivational and uplifting songs, from Tom Petty and Gloria Gaynor to Chaka Khan and Florence + The Machine.

You can find the playlist here.


Football Escapes launches competition to support NHS Heroes

Tour operator and children’s coaching company Football Escapes has announced a new competition to support NHS Heroes, a charity set up for the wellbeing and welfare of NHS workers.

The competition will see entrants be in with a chance to win a six-night stay at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort in Limassol, Cyprus for them and their family, courtesy of FE Luxury Travel. The prize also includes return flights and the football course (for children of all abilities aged 5-15).

To enter, all they have to do is pledge £10 to the NHS Heroes charity.

For more information, click here.


Clap for the NHS

The Travel Weekly editorial team pay thanks to NHS staff and emergency service workers during these difficult times.

WavingPic


Spirit of Discovery lights up for the NHS


Icelolly.com employees ‘holiday from home’

With the current coronavirus outbreak curbing travel, the icelolly.com team has be holidaying in their own way, by transforming their homes into various holiday destinations.

From pitching tents in their living rooms, to watching safari videos surrounded by toy animals, icelolly.com employees have been getting creative when it comes to holidaying from home.

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Now, the team is encouraging others to get involved, by creating a video using just the items in your home and posting it to social media with the hashtag #HolidayingAtHome.

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For more examples of what the team has been up to, visit the icelolly.com blog.


Making video conferences fun

Travel Weekly’s editorial team are taking it in turns to ‘show and tell’ at their daily video conference.

Today, managing editor Robin Searle dressed up in his best suit (below) and showed us his pet Aqua Dragons. Despite not being able to see the microscopic creatures, they brightened everyone’s morning.

AquaMonkeys

Yesterday, news reporter Harry Kemble brought along his peace lily (below) and gave us a lesson in how to look after the plant, but sadly did not make as much effort as Robin did with his outfit.

PeaceLily


We love the NHS!


Anyone in need of a motivation playlist?


Free kids activity packs from Travel Weekly


Portuguese Tourism Board launches #CantSkipHope campaign

The Portuguese Tourism Board has used archive footage of the country to put together the below video.

It highlights the countryside, people and monuments in Portugal that travellers can look forward to experiencing when they are able to visit again.


Travel agent reaches out to local community

Full Circle Travel’s managing director Niall Douglas has reached out to his local community in Wallingford, to offer travel advice and help to those who have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Among those who took up his offer was a resident whose son was stuck in Brazil, who he managed to share advice with, and checked in on when he returned home.

Read the full story here.


Send us the view from your lunchtime run/walk


Warner Leisure Hotels gives food to those in need

WLHotels

Leisure brand Warner Leisure Hotels is giving away its food to those in need, after it closed all its properties until April 16.

It tweeted: “In such difficult times we’re doing our utmost to care for each other and are supporting local communities by donating food to local food banks, care homes and the vulnerable. Our chefs have also been cooking freezable dishes for our team that live in the grounds of our hotels.”


Bespoke Hotels donates surplus food to good causes

FOod-bank

Bespoke Hotels properties across the UK are redistributing surplus perishable foods to those in need across their communities. Those receiving boxes of food include nursing homes, shelters, schools and food banks.

Robin Sheppard, chief executive of Bespoke Hotels, said: “Given the current circumstances, we cannot let our food and beverage go to waste without helping those in need.

“We have an active community and local charities in each region. We must work together and be kind to one another during these unprecedented times.”


Who can beat these dance moves?


We love this idea! Who else will be joining the #notgoingoutclub?


Get those 2021 bookings in if you can


May as well make the most of it!


A big thank you to all medical professionals at this time and always


Disney donates excess food to local communities

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are donating food to local communities following the closure of the parks due to the coronavirus crisis.

Last week, cast members joined the distribution services team, who work with the Second Harvest Food Bank to oversee the delivery of food to local communities.

“These donations would not be possible without the dedication of cast members behind the scenes who collect, sort and distribute every item to ensure it’s delivered with the highest level of freshness, keeping food safety top of mind,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs at Walt Disney World Resort.


No holiday? No problem!

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Another reason to always book with a travel agent

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Check out San Diego Zoo’s live video feeds

Tune into the live cameras from inside the animal enclosures. You can see what the giraffes, tigers, pandas and other animals are up to – we dare you to watch and try not to smile!

Don’t tell the others, but our favourites are the penguins.

You can video the different video feeds here.


That’s one way to cheer yourself up!


Who will be joining a Royal Caribbean virtual cruise?


There’s something odd about the newest addition to the Newmarket Holidays team

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We hope you managed to see your mum from a safe distance over the weekend


Messages of thanks make a big difference


Kind customers help keep spirits high

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A big thank you for the Kuoni team


Visit Jamaica lifts spirits with music

Visit Jamaica has compiled a playlist on Spotify to help lift people’s spirits in these difficult times. Desmond Decker, Bob Marley, UB40 and more all feature on the playlist, entitled “Every Little Thing is Gonna be Alright”. You can listen to the upbeat tunes here.


Hugh from Kuoni’s marketing team deserves a round of applause for keeping his team entertained while social distancing


Share a video of yourself ‘holidaying at home’ with Icelolly.com


What a great idea. Will more cruise lines do this?


Great news from Cosmos!


A lovely message from the Azamara UK & Ireland sales team


Shubhra Halliday at Prestige Holidays is looking on the bright side

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Team Carnival are still smiling on their daily video conference

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Positive client feedback for Newmarket Holidays

Newmarket Holidays received some lovely client feedback after helping a customer get back home from a holiday in Cyprus this week:

“Thank you very much for getting me safely back from Cyprus. It was a bit of a worrying day until we heard we had a BA flight home. The people in Dionysus Hotel were wonderful  – it was a good choice of hotel and we were glad we’d chosen it.”
– J Jenkins


Who else is dreaming of a safari?


Random acts of kindness go a long way in these difficult times


Another productive video conference


A simple thank you can go a long way

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AmaWaterways are ready and waiting


The Advantage marketing team has a new recruit


Congratulations to If Only’s Dom Carrick, lovely news!

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Travel Weekly’s editorial team enjoying seeing each other’s homes on a video chat this morning

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Did anyone else tune in and have a little dance?


The Grange Hotel to deliver Mother’s Day treats

The Grange Hotel in Bootham, York, will be delivering comfort food and takeaway Mother’s Day Treat Boxes to help out those in isolation during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Mother’s Day boxes will be available to order from March 20-29, consisting of sweet and savoury treats, while dishes from the hotel’s restaurant can also be ordered.


Travel Weekly’s sister magazine The Caterer have introduced ‘Pet Thursday’s’


Emma from Celebrity Cruises is sending the trade some love

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What a lovely gesture – we’re sure they deserve it

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Get in touch with the If Only team today if you can


What a lovely thing to do!

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Take some time out with your furry friends


Desert Island Discs

Catch Destination Canada’s Adam Hanmer on BBC  6 Music at around 9am tomorrow morning (March 20) with Lauren Laverne.

Adam will be introducing the songs he would take to a desert island for a disco and talking a bit about honing his dancing skills while suffering from MS.

You can listen tomorrow morning here, and you are encouraged to dance along to his chosen tracks!


Send us photos of your team meetings

Janet Parton, sales Director at Cosmos and Avalon Waterways, shared this photo of her (very cheerful!) daily team meeting:

TeamCosmos

Aspire editor Hollie-Rae Brader shares this photo of some of team Aspire and Travel Weekly having a catch up this morning:

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And a very smiley team Azamara, shared by strategic account manager Stuart Pearce:

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Everyone’s favourite travel industry photographer Steve Dunlop shared this photo of his very cute teammates:

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Fancy winning some prizes?


Some lovely news from Swords Travel


MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises send messages of hope

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Pure Luxury team receives sweet treats

“The Pure Luxury team is sorted for the next 14 days. Thank you for thinking of us,” Stacy Caunce posted on Travel Gossip, after receiving this big box of supplies from travel agent Joanne Morris.

Pure luxury


The APT team are here for you if you need a chat


Reaching out to a friend or colleague can make all the difference


The Cosmos team are here for you


A small gesture of kindness goes a long way


Great work from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines!


A toast to the trade


A simple thank you can go a long way


Icelolly.com are stilling seeing an appetite to travel from the public


Spirits are high on Azamara Pursuit


Video: A message of support from Phil Nuttall


Tui’s smile of support

TUI track

Marella Discovery 2 traced the Tui smile, which measured 12 nautical miles high, and 16 nautical miles wide, while carrying out routine manoeuvres as the ship docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“Myself, first officer Cosmin and our bridge team worked together to trace the TUI smile as we wanted to do something that would make both our customers and teams smile as a thank you for supporting us during these unprecedented times,” said Jason Ikiadis, captain of Marella Discovery 2.

“We’ll be ready and waiting to set sail with our customers soon.”


Kuoni agents praised for reaction to crisis

Travel agents at Kuoni have been showered with messages of support, as they have been working around the clock to help customers change their travel plans at short notice and return home from a number of destinations.

One customer said: “We’ve booked through one of your agents and I can’t say enough. They’re doing a brilliant job, thank you.”

Another said: “You guys are doing a fantastic job at a difficult time. Huge respect.”

Derek Jones, Kuoni’s CEO, said the team has done “all we can in a very difficult and uncertain situation to go the extra mile to support customers.”

“It is not easy, and we are having to make decisions quickly,” he said. “But we are hugely appreciative of the flexibility shown by customers and their understanding and patience.”


Keeping staff happy and safe at the same time


Sometimes you have to laugh!


It’s lovely to see customers supporting their local agents


It’s great to hear such lovely feedback


Now that’s good service


Staff are still smiling at Kuoni HQ!


Best Western offers beds to NHS staff

Best Western Great Britain will be making 15,000 hotel bedrooms and more than 1,000 meetings rooms available to help take the strain off hospital wards.

The rooms are available for NHS staff and care workers, as well as lower risk patients, families and over 70s.

Andrew Denton, head of hotel services at Best Western Great Britain, said the response has been “overwhelmingly positive”.

“We would love to plug our supply and support into the NHS system in a coordinated and organised manner,” he said. “Every day counts now for people on the frontline of this crisis, so we want the NHS to know we are here to help.”


Virtual hugs are always appreciated!


Sometimes all you need is a glass of champagne


Customers still say hello despite Liphook Travel Worldchoice’s closed door policy


Good news from Aspen Travel


Central England Co-op launches food bank

Central England Co-op has announced plans for a food bank to support those affected by the coronavirus.

Donations will be collected at the Co-op’s food stores, where around half of the society’s 26 travel agencies are based.

The food collected will be used to create food parcels of around 11 items each to provide at least three days’ worth of meals.

Donations will be passed on to the society’s charity partners to distribute to those in need.


Carrick Travel enjoys treats from colleagues and clients


Miles Morgan Travel offers to do shopping for elderly clients

Miles Morgan Travel is offering a helping hand to elderly clients who are struggling to get supplies.

Travel agency owner Miles Morgan said he had made the decision to help customers in this way following news the government plans to ask people over the age of 70 to self-isolate in the near future because of the coronavirus. The agency chain has 17 shops and three homeworkers.