Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, we have been shining a light on positive stories from the industry alongside our coverage of the big issues and breaking news.
As part of Travel Weekly’s Roadmap to Recovery focus the industry begins to rebuild, we will continue to update this Good Deed Feed to offer support and encouragement and showcase individuals and brands who go the extra mile.
If you have any submissions for Travel’s Good Deed Feed, please email them to Eleanor.Kirk@travelweekly.co.uk.
Singapore Airlines to donate Miles of Good to essential workers
Singapore Airlines has launched a corporate social responsibility campaign called Miles of Good, which aims to donate 100 million KrisFlyer miles to frontline and essential workers serving the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
KrisFlyer members can nominate deserving individuals from their own countries with a minimum donation of 1,000 miles. Eligible nominees include healthcare workers, public transport workers, supermarket employees, cleaners, and food delivery, courier and postal services personnel. Members can also donate their miles without making any nomination.
Nominations must be submitted by August 10.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises completes challenge to raise money for the NHS
The Regent Seven Seas Cruises team has completed their challenge to walk, run and cycle around the UK, covering 11,072.26 miles – the length of the coastline of mainland Britain – in just 12 weeks.
Inspired by the dedication and sacrifices made by those on the front line fighting coronavirus, Regent team members participated in the Regent Miles for NHS from their homes and local parks across the UK.
The team has raised over £3,000 to support the NHS. Funds will be shared between the Murray Parish Trust and NHS Charities Together.
Anyone wishing to support Regent Miles for NHS can do so here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/RegentMilesforNHS
Together for Healthcare Heroes initiative launches In Ibiza
A charity initiative set up in Ibiza called Together for Healthcare Heroes is on a mission to give back to those healthcare workers across Europe that have selflessly helped us all during the Covid 19 crisis.
Local entrepreneurs, homeowners, residents and businesses are collectively aiming to provide 10,000 holidays across Europe for healthcare workers in 2021.
Property owners have already donated their homes, hotels are gifting rooms and flights are being paid for directly through fundraising activity and sponsorship.
To find out more click here.
CV Villas thanks key workers with ‘Giving Heroes a Holiday’ campaign
Luxury villa specialist CV Villas has announced the 15 winners of its ‘Giving Heroes a Holiday’ campaign, which was launched in May to thank key workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
The public was invited to nominate worthy individuals – from frontline NHS workers to supermarket and delivery workers, from pharmacists to community volunteers – with a short explanation of why they deserved to be rewarded with one of 15 exclusive villa holidays, including with flights, to Corfu in 2021.
CV Villas received 5,000 nominations and the four judges (Francis Torrilla, managing director at Kuoni Specialist Businesses, Tristan Symondson, CV Villas managing director, Sally Winfield Accord Marketing chief, and Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief at Travel Weekly Group) had to whittle down the worthy submissions to 15 of the most outstanding individuals who went above and beyond to support the public during the COVID-19 crisis.
Winners included a couple in their 60s who left retirement to take on key worker roles as a nurse and as a supermarket worker; a teacher supporting key worker children in school and providing daily YouTube lessons for his home-schooled students; an entire family of frontline NHS workers; and a freshly-qualified ICU nurse who went straight into working on a COVID ward and who found time between shifts to fundraise for the NHS and NSPCC.
In addition to the main prize winners, everyone who was nominated will receive a £300 voucher for use against any 2021 CV Villas holiday booking, applicable to any villa in any destination.
Cunard donates food to charity
Cunard has made a series of food donations to charity over the past four weeks from Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.
Both ships are currently moored in UK waters with no guests on board, and have donated 25 pallets (approximately 23 tons) of supplies to UK food rescue charity UKHarvest.
UKHarvest collects excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to charities. The donations provide much-needed assistance to vulnerable people across the UK.
Food donations from both ships include frozen and chilled fruit and vegetables, staple pantry food, cereal and chocolate.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s receives £350,000 in donations
North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), one the UK’s most popular heritage attractions, has received over £350,000 in donations to help secure its future.
The railway’s Crisis Appeal launched in March in response to the impact of Coronavirus. The NYMR operates seasonally and was due to open on 4 April, but being unable to operate has meant that the registered charity had to reach out to the general public for financial support.
Fundraising efforts have included silent auctions, a virtual shop launch, Friday night quizzes and generous donations.
Donations can be made here: nymr.co.uk/crisis-fund.
Travelodge to open a further 11 hotels this week to support key workers
Travelodge is re-opening a further 11 of its hotels across the UK to support key workers.
The hotel chain has been operating 51 of its properties during lockdown to provide accommodation for key workers and support local authorities.
Travelodge has taken its key learnings whilst operating during lockdown and is launching TravelodgeProtect+, a programme of cleaning and social distancing measures in line with government guidance, designed to keep its customers and employees safe.
The Soco Hotel, Barbados is giving away a free stay to one lucky travel agent
The Soco Hotel, Barbados are giving one lucky travel agent a free five-night stay on an all-inclusive basis for two people.
To enter the prize draw all you have to do is make two bookings between now and September, and email your booking references to email@example.com. Bookings can be made via dnata, Webbeds and W2M, and only bookings that include travel before December 31 will be eligible.
The Soco Hotel is a 24 -bedroom, boutique, adults-only property on the south coast of Barbados.
The prize draw will take place on September 15. For any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nevis announces virtual mango festival
The annual Nevis Mango Festival 2020 in Nevis has been rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID-19, but the event will still go ahead virtually in 2020.
The 3-day Nevis Mango Festival was originally scheduled to take place on the 4th of July weekend. Chefs from across the region, along with a visiting celebrity chef, take part in a culinary challenge to create a dish inspired by and containing mangos. The only rule is that the mangos that are used must be one of the 40+ varieties that grow on the island.
The virtual Nevis Mango Festival will take place on Friday July 3 with a virtual mango tasting on all media platforms including local television. The Mango Festival Cook-Off, held at Cleveland Gardens, will start at 10am on Saturday July 4 and will be live-streamed both on local television and on the Nevis Tourism Authority social media platforms. A virtual Master Class with Iron Chef Judy Joo will take place on Sunday July 5.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises launches ‘Regent Miles for NHS’ challenge
The Regent Seven Seas Cruises team has pledged to make an 11,972.26 mile journey – the length of the British mainland coastline – to raise money for the NHS.
Team members will be walking, cycling and running around the UK to clock up the distance in 12 weeks.
The team is hoping to raise £2,000 for the NHS. Funds will be shared between the Murray Parish Trust and NHS Charities Together.
Donations can be made here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/RegentMilesforNHS
Agents invited to participate in ’30 Days of Crystal’
To celebrate 30 years of luxury cruising, Crystal is inviting UK agents to join them in a month-long trip down memory lane.
As part of ’30 Days of Crystal’ agents are invited to share their favourite memory of Crystal by emailing a photo and a short sentence to email@example.com.
Agents can choose to write about their favourite memory on board Crystal, or the reasons they love Crystal.
The cruise line will then choose one entry to feature each day on an email newsletter and across social media in the 30-day run-up to the 30th anniversary on July 24.
Crystal’s UK marketing director Elaine Gillard said: “We know that UK agents love Crystal and we want to share their memories to not only let others know what makes Crystal so special, but to also remind all of us just how fabulous cruising is.”
Metropolitan Touring chairman raises $11 million for local communities
Roque Sevilla, chairman of Metropolitan Touring, has raised USD $11 million for the most vulnerable communities in the Galapagos, the Amazon, Cuenca, Esmeraldas, Quito and the Central Highlands.
The money raised will be used to provide food, coronavirus testing, respiratory triage centres and PPE to communities in need.
The money was raised with sponsored virtual fun runs and online performances by some of Ecuador’s most popular musicians.
Sevilla said: “We are eternally grateful to all those who have donated so far, and thanks to many volunteers and generous donations, have managed to stabilise the situation in the Galapagos Islands and provide a lifeline to many vulnerable communities. There are however, so many more that need our help and I believe we need to get the word out to our industry friends internationally, and those who know and love Ecuador. We know that every country has its own coronavirus issues to contend with, but we invite anyone who is able to join the fund to do so – it is about saving everyone’s life, health and future.”
Holiday Lounge keeps in touch with clients during lockdown
Holiday Lounge is an independent agency chain with four retail travel branches in Leicestershire.
During lockdown, the team decided to put a video together with a short message to all of their clients:
El Palace Barcelona and Ronnie Wood launch coronavirus charity campaign
El Palace Barcelona and legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood have teamed up to launch a charity campaign.
El Palace Barcelona will be selling five two-night vouchers to stay in the El Palace Suite by Ronnie Wood to help raise funds to support the development of vaccines and medication to fight COVID-19, and help counter the economic effects on local families.
All proceeds of the five ‘You Stay, You Care, You Rock’ packages, available to purchase through Hotel Treats, will be donated to two charities: yomecorono.com, a research and development project finding solutions to combat the pandemic Barcelona, and Banc dels Aliments de Barcelona, a charity that provides food to those in need.
Heathrow helps with local fight against COVID-19
Heathrow has donated a further 5,000 FFP3 face masks to NHS personnel at Hillingdon Hospital this week, taking the total donated to 16,000 since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Heathrow has also stepped up efforts to help local schools during the pandemic.
A total of 70 laptops have been delivered to local primary schools around the airport over the last two months, from funds that have been donated by the Heathrow Executive team and raised through the recycling of airport IT equipment.
The donated laptops mean pupils who previously didn’t have access to a device will no longer be missing out on their education due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Heathrow has also developed online educational resources for teachers and parents to support home schooling for those who may not be returning to class, and donated separation barriers to Colnbrook Primary School to help divide their playground to ensure social distancing can be maintained.
Wellbeing Escapes launches wellness webinar platform
Wellbeing Escapes has developed a wellness webinar platform to provide clients and travel agents with support from the comfort of their own homes. Webinars include:
• Guided mediations classes
• Yoga relaxation classes
• Qi Gong sessions (similar to Tai Chi)
• Breathwork experiences
• Ayurvedic Medicine webinars
• Corrective exercise sessions
Many of the webinars are hosted by therapists from Wellbeing Escapes’ top selling retreats, including Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in Thailand and Euphoria Retreat in Greece.
Wellbeing At Home live sessions are held every Saturday morning at 11am on Zoom. Register to attend here.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines donates over £33,000 of food to those in need in Scotland
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has donated more than £33,000 of food to causes in Scotland with the help of food distribution charity FareShare.
Donations included cereals, biscuits, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, jams and sauces, chocolates, cured meats, baking ingredients, rice and more.
Thomas Rennesland, hotel operations director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are used to feeding in excess of 4,000 guests and crew across our fleet every day, and while we have not taken on any additional fresh produce since we paused our operations in March – other than that required to feed our crew – our stores and freezers were fully stocked and ready for cruising as normal.
“As our ships have been in the Rosyth area since March it seemed only fitting to donate these additional food items to those who need it most in Scotland.
“The crew on board have worked extremely hard, in addition to their usual duties, to prepare all of the food items so that they are ready for collection by FareShare and I would like to thank all involved for their efforts for this very worthy cause.
“Thank you also to the Sailors’ Society Port Chaplain for Leith and Forth, who made the donation possible.”
Cayman Islands Department of Tourism supports local artists
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) has shown its support for local artists during the coronavirus lockdown by creating a new distribution channel for their art.
The ‘Cayman Art’ webpage aims to back local artists, raising their profile and showcasing their art to a global audience.
Regional manager for CIDOT Europe, Adrian White, said: “The UK team of the CIDOT has been looking to come up with innovative ways to support local Caymanian businesses during the lockdown, especially those affected by the lack of tourism. The ‘Cayman Art’ page is a great way to showcase the talent, vibrancy and diversity of artists that we have in Cayman and provides an alternative distribution channel to having visitors see their work on island.”
MSC Cruises has donated thousands of surgical and respiratory masks to medical professionals across Europe, with the latest delivery to NHS workers in Brighton.
The cruise line’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, Antonio Paradiso, dropped off 5,000 surgical masks to Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals Trust on Thursday in the latest donation.
MSC has also delivered the masks to medics in Portugal, Brazil and Switzerland and has sent perishable goods to those in need in China, France and Italy.
Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy continues to help those affected by Coronavirus
Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) is working in Peru, Brazil, south east Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambiato assist those affected by the coronavirus crisis.
AKP has increased its funding to projects by over 60% compared to this time last year, not including Project CURE medical supply shipments. AKP has already delivered three shipping containers in 2020, two to Uganda and one to Cambodia, and recently packed a fourth to go to Tanzania.
AKP has also delivered food in bulk for isolated villages since the start of the year. These deliveries are helping to sustain communities during the current pandemic.
G Adventures launches ‘Inca Trail Step Challenge’ for agents in partnership with Craghoppers
G Adventures is launching an ‘Inca Trail Step Challenge’ as part of a wider campaign to help educate agents on Peru’s diverse experiences.
The interactive Inca Trail Steps Challenge will run in partnership with Craghoppers, to help enhance agents’ understanding and knowledge on all aspects of the iconic trek.
Running from Monday 15th June to Thursday 18th June 2020, the Inca Trail Steps challenge will see travel agents from across the UK and Ireland try to accumulate the 55,000 steps it takes to hike the Inca Trail.
Agents will be supported by the G Adventures trade sales team, who will deliver Inca Trail facts, photos, videos and stories throughout the week. Agents can take on the challenge either as a team or solo.
Every agent who completes the full 55,000 steps over the four day challenge will be entered into a competition to win a pair of Salado Desert Hi Boots from Craghoppers’ new footwear range, worth £120.
Agents wanting to participate can register via the G Adventures Agents of Change Facebook Group.
NHS Sister on Doncaster’s Intensive Care Unit wins a holiday with VIVID Travel
Sarah Authbert, a Sister on the Intensive Care Unit at Doncaster’s Royal Infirmary Hospital, has won a holiday for two to Canada worth over £10,000 with VIVID Travel.
The competition was launched in April as a joint initiative between VIVID Travel and Silversurfers, the UK’s largest online community for the over 50s. Entrants were asked to nominate an NHS employee to win the holiday.
Sarah has been in nursing for 25 years and has been working at Doncaster’s Royal Infirmary for the past 19 years. She said she’s “shocked but thrilled” to have won the competition.
Sarah was nominated, unbeknown to her, by her mother Sue. She will be travelling with her husband Stuart on the 10-day Canada itinerary in June 2021.
Tui agent volunteers as an NHS responder
Take a break with Nova Scotia crossword puzzle
Can you name the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Parks in Nova Scotia?
Are you familiar with the top golf courses, festivals and events, famous people and favourite foods of Novia Scotia?
Test your knowledge with this crossword puzzle.
Sister brands Inghams and Santa’s Lapland have launched a month of fun bingo challenges for travel agents.
The tour operators have set agents a variety of tasks on a bingo sheet of four rows and four columns to complete during June, with the chance to win Love To Shop vouchers.
The challenges range from making a future booking , creating a social media post for Santa’s Lapland and signing up to Inghams’ training academy to asking agents to send a photo of something new they have achieved during the lockdown or sending in a selfie of themselves doing something they enjoy.
Simply Owners to provide NHS workers with free holidays
Simply Owners has launched an NHS ‘rainbow scheme’ to provide free or heavily discounted holidays to NHS and social care workers.
Hundreds of properties have provided over 10,000 individual free or discounted stays.
Tim Parkes, owner of Simply Owners, said: “I just kept seeing front line workers struggling and felt useless. I thought NHS staff will need a break when this is all over and maybe the owners of holiday rental properties on our site might be willing to offer them that break. I am truly humbled with some of the stories our owners have sent in response to this initiative, stating why they love the NHS so much.”
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff travel a quarter of the distance around the world in challenge for NHS Charities Together
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff have walked, run or cycled more than 6,800 miles in May to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.
On May 1 team members who were homeworking or on furlough leave set off to show of support for the travel industry at a time when travel is on hold.
The challenge was created by Ellie Fulcher, sales manager – groups and affinity, who said: “We have had great fun in virtually travelling across our wonderful world over the past month. Each day we have been sharing pictures from our walks, runs and cycles, and it has been such a great way to see each other’s faces while we are all unable to physically be together.
“The challenge has certainly brought us back together as one team, and to see that we are already over a quarter of the way around the world, and over half way to our fundraising target, is very rewarding.”
Eurostar offers free trips for local heroes
Eurostar is inviting people to nominate their hero for a chance to win a trip for two people to a Eurostar destination of their choice.
The competition closes on 18th June, with one winner per week selected at random.
The first winner was Thomas, a junior doctor. He said: “Thank you to Eurostar for awarding me this prize, and to my sister, Rose, for nominating me! These past few months have been exhausting for so many people within healthcare and those supporting us to live our lives differently. I am really looking forward to taking a relaxing break on Eurostar as soon as we get back to some form of normality. Thank you.”
Travel specialist digital marketing agency SEO Travel is offsetting negative sentiment about travel firms with a feed of stories about them supporting communities during the pandemic.
The firm has launched ShineOnTravel where visitors are encouraged to upload their stories about how travel firms have gone beyond the cause as COVID-19 shut down travel.
With many headlines centred around the issue of consumers struggling to access refunds for cancelled trips, SEO Travel says it wanted to highlight firms that are helping customers and communities.
Mr & Mrs Smith has launched a Crowdfunder campaign to reward NHS and care home staff with a night away at some of the UK’s top boutique properties.
More than 45 hotels have signed up to support the initiative which offers room nights to NHS staff for just £50 each. The campaign hopes to raise at least £50,000 on Crowdfunder to give 1,000 key workers a night off.
Mr & Mrs Smith is funding the first 100 room nights and won’t take any commission from the initiative, with every penny going to the hotels to cover their basic costs for each stay.
NHS and care home staff can apply by visiting mrandmrssmith.com/nightoff
In early July names will be drawn at random to decide who receives a night away at a UK Smith Hotel.
Intrepid Travel has launched the Intrepid Pen Pal Programme to help agents stay connected in lockdown whilst supporting girls in Morocco, in partnership with the Education For All (EFA) charity.
The Intrepid Pen Pal Programme will connect children of agents in the UK and Ireland with girls from EFA in Morocco, and children of staff working for Intrepid Operations in destinations as far flung as Myanmar, Egypt, Croatia and Peru.
The scheme encourages children aged between 6 and 18 years old to make new friends by swapping online letters with each other and subsequently learning about different cultures, and discovering how other countries are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
To find out how to join the Pen Pal Programme visit facebook.com/groups/intrepidlovesagents
Southampton Airport works with Guernsey Airport and Aurigny to enable vital medical flight
Southampton Airport has joined forces with Guernsey Airport and Channel Island’s based airline Aurigny to ensure a special charter flight carrying medical samples to be tested at Southampton General Hospital was brought safety to the mainland.
Southampton General Hospital is one of the key medical facilities for the Channel Islands, if tests and treatment are required which cannot be performed on the islands.
Managing Director of Southampton Airport, Neil Garwood, said: “We are extremely proud to have been providing lifeline flights to the Channel Islands throughout this difficult period. It has never been more important to enable medical flights than during this pandemic response.
“We received an urgent call on Saturday asking us to facilitate this on Sunday morning and our team pulled out all the stops working with Aurigny and Guernsey Airport to make sure this precious medical cargo reached Southampton General Hospital in time.”
Belize Tourism Board launches competition to win a trip to Belize
The Belize Tourism Board has launched a virtual postcard competition called ‘Dear Belize’.
One lucky winner will win a trip for two to discover to the Central American country when normal travel resumes.
Entrants need to create a short video about why they want to visit Belize, starting it with ‘Dear Belize’. Entries must be submitted online by May 29.
The Belize Tourism Board is encouraging travel lovers to get creative with their entries and transport themselves to Belize from the comfort of their own homes.
Entries can be submitted at dearbelize.com.
Jamaica launches free online training for tourism workers
Jamaica has launched a free online training programme for tourism workers affected by COVID-19.
Approximately 75% of Jamaica’s tourist sector has become unemployed, and whilst most will be reemployed in a few months the country is fortifying the industry for a strong economic future.
Over 6,500 users have registered since the programme launched, and classes began on April 27.
Courses can be accessed here.
Advantage Travel Partnership is offering a £1,000 holiday prize as part of its #BucketListReboot marketing campaign to encourage more agents to engage with clients during the UK lockdown.
The travel agency consortium has put together a video, banners and wording for members to send to customers to persuade them to enter the bucket list competition.
Holidaymakers need to make a 10 to 15 second video by June 20 saying what their dream holiday is and why, and post it on social media, such as Facebook or Instagram, using #BucketListReboot and tagging their Advantage agent.
The winning video will be chosen by a panel of judges, with the winner receiving a £1,000 voucher from Advantage Holidays to spend by the end of 2021 on a holiday booked through their Advantage agent.
A platform aiming to connect people on furlough with volunteer opportunities is targeting staff in the travel industry.
Furlonteer.com has received more than 1,000 sign-ups in the first 48 hours and more than 50 charities have been matched with ‘furlonteers’ over the past week.
Furlonteer matches the skills and expertise of furloughed people with charities that need help and encourages people to spend their time making a positive difference while maintaining a sense of purpose, routine and focus during their extended period away from work.
‘Furlonteers’ are matched with volunteer roles for charities based on their skills, experience and amount of time they have available, which can range from a few hours a month to several hours a day, the majority based from their homes.
Money raised by a group of travel industry professionals by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is to be re-allocated to Covid-19 emergency relief funds.
The ‘G Trek For Good’ group, led by G Adventures UK and EMEA managing director Brian Young, had planned to donate the money raised to support a new community project via the operator’s social enterprise arm, Planeterra, as well as people affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook via Abta Lifeline.
But the Planeterra element, totalling £12,897, is now being redirected to support the communities that G Adventures already works with, who are most in need due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The money will pay for essentials such as food and medicine, which communities are struggling to access now that tourism to their destinations has stopped.
Eurostar volunteers share language skills with schools
Eurostar has developed a scheme to provide support for language students during school closures.
French speaking employees are involved in the initiative, stepping away from their day jobs in train driving, customer service, marketing, operations and finance.
Volunteers are hosting a range of online sessions for pupils between year groups 8-13, increasing their confidence in French conversation and maintaining their skills while they study from home away from their teachers.
Celebrity Cruises is encouraging agents to share pictures of them smiling in aid of charity Reuben’s Retreat.
The brand said it was challenging agents to “trigger a wave” of happiness by posting their photos with the tag #CheesyGrin on social media and donating £5 to the charity.
You can donate by texting GRIN to 70970 or agents can use their Celebrity Rewards points to donate. Those who complete the challenge are then being asked to nominate three friends to do the same.
Celebrity Cruises said it had been “inspired by Reuben’s infectious happiness”.
Garstrang Travel are there for their customers
Cap Maison in Saint Lucia to give away free holidays to frontline NHS staff
Boutique villa resort Cap Maison in St Lucia is giving away free holidays to eight frontline NHS workers.
The selected winners will bag a five-night all-inclusive stay at Cap Maison with a guest, to be taken once the pandemic is over and travel restrictions have been lifted.
Ross Stevenson, general manager at Cap Maison, said: “While we appreciate it is currently not possible to travel, we want to show our thanks to the NHS for everything they are doing to keep our families in the UK and guests well by giving a select few a well-deserved holiday once the pandemic is over. These are the people who are on the frontline every day, fighting this pandemic and saving lives.”
To nominate an NHS worker visit capmaison.com/nhs. The closing date for entries is 31st August 2020 and winners will be announced on 4th September 2020.
Mammoth Lakes Tourism serves over 1,000 households with Community Food Bank
Mammoth Lakes Tourism has opened a drive-through food bank in partnership with US Foods.
An estimated 1,800 people used the food bank on the first day it was open, and over the last six weeks the food bank has helped serve 1200 – 1400 people every day.
“The local community has always played an integral part in making Mammoth Lakes Tourism who we are. With the closure to tourism and high unemployment hitting the town we knew we had to do something quickly to support those in need, or risk seeing our workers and community suffer. The MLT Food Bank has enabled us to care for local families, and give back to those who have been hardest hit. With the support of local businesses and generous donations from around the world, we’ve been able to feed more than 1,000 households”. ” said John Urdi, Mammoth Lakes Tourism executive director.
Parkdean Resorts provides free accommodation to NHS workers
Parkdean Resorts is providing free accommodation to frontline NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis.
Caravans and lodges at selected parks have been made available to NHS key workers in need of a convenient place to stay at the end of their shifts, or for those living with any vulnerable or at-risk family members.
Participating parks include Torquay, Whitley Bay in Northumberland, Vauxhall in Great Yarmouth, and Southview in Skegness.
The four parks have housed more than fifty key workers so far.
OYO Hotels & Homes hosts key workers in properties across the UK
Over 50,000 nights at OYO Hotels & Homes have been booked for government-approved purposes since the UK lockdown began.
OYO has now made further rooms available and extended its long-stay accommodation rates for essential workers.
Several OYO properties across the UK are now fully-booked with long stay guests.
Those returning to work in England this month who need long-stay, fixed accommodation rates should email UK.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last minute bookings can also be made online at oyorooms.com.
Sandals Resorts extends travel agent programmes and benefits to 2021
Sandals Resorts International has extended travel agent programmes including Chairman’s Royal Club membership and Sandals Specialist benefits to 2021 to help support the trade.
Individual agents who currently hold Chairman Royal Club membership or Sandals Specialist statuses will automatically carry the accolade through to 2021 without having to requalify.
The Sell & Go rewards programme, where agents earn their own free nights to redeem against stays at Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has also been extended.
Agents with any unused nights from 2018 can use them up until 31st December 2020, whilst those earned in 2019 can be used until 31st December 2021. Any nights earned in 2020 will also be valid until 31st December 2022.
Party Hard Travel raise £2,000 for the NHS
The event was hosted by Faris Rai, with DJ sets from Btay, Ellie Sax, Danny T, SKT, Sammy Porter, James Hype and Charlie Hedges.
The live stream also included a raffle with a holiday, VIP party experiences, festival tickets and other prizes given away during the evening, which ran from 5pm to 11pm on VE day.
Party Hard Travel sold tickets for the raffle at £2 each and raised a total of £2243 for the charity.
Learn an Aboriginal language and much more with Tourism Western Australia
Visit the new Virtual WA hub on westernaustralia.com to access live streamed events, interactive tours, virtual reality footage and classes from some of Western Australia’s tourism experts.
You could learn to speak an Aboriginal language with Clinton from Ngurrangga Tours. Ngarluma is an endangered language with only 30 fluent speakers left in the world.
Listen to the ‘Bush Yarns’ podcast with Scotty Connell, owner of Kimberley Spirit Tours. Hear from local legends and special guests about life changing experiences, bush tucker and animal encounters.
You could also join Western Australia for a Live Sky Astronomy session with Rick Tonello, Head Astronomer at the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory, or virtually attend a live bush walk in Broome with cultural tour guide Johani Mamid from Mabu Buru Tours.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts supports communities and frontline workers
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ initiatives include providing accommodation for healthcare workers, offering complimentary rooms to elderly people displaced from their nursing homes, donations to government bodies fighting the pandemic and rewarding essential workers around the world with upgrades on hotel stays until the end of 2021.
For example, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Kahramanmaras in Turkey is offering healthcare workers at nearby hospitals complimentary accommodation, as well as three complimentary meals a day, while Ramada by Wyndham Lisbon in Portugal is hosting elderly people displaced from their nursing homes.
The owner of Ramada by Wyndham Bishkek Centre has made donations to support underprivileged families, medical workers, law enforcement employees, orphanages and nursing homes, while the general manager of Wyndham Garden Kuta Beach Bali has built 37 portable water basins that are accessible in places such as walkways and temples.
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Remarkables Park, Queenstown in New Zealand is offering rooms to displaced mothers-to-be after the local maternity ward was shut down – and they’ve even welcomed a baby into the world at the hotel.
Rent a Virtual Finn with Visit Finland
Discover the Finns’ natural way of life and daily routines with Visit Finland’s ‘Rent a Virtual Finn’ social media campaign.
The campaign will feature a live stream series showcasing how to eat with a Finn, relax with a Finn or get active with a Finn. You can also apply for an exclusive one-to-one session with a Virtual Happiness Guide.
Finland was chosen by the United Nations as the world’s happiest nation for the third year running in March.
Book time with a Virtual Happiness Guide here: rentafinn.com
Watch the live streams on Visit Finland’s Facebook page at 3pm on May 15, May 22, May 29, June 1, and June 12.
Khiri Reach helps communities across southeast Asia
Khiri Reach, the charitable arm of Khiri Travel, has been helping communities in Asia impacted by the current Covid-19 crisis.
In Sri Lanka, Khiri Reach donated grocery packages to 250 families in Grandpass Colombo, and in Myanmar Khiri staff and local volunteer groups set up two social enterprises: KuMel Volunteer connection and Honeybee Arts & Crafts.
Khiri Travel Vietnam staff also donated funds to a CanCham project to purchase about 148kg of rice to help families in the suburbs around Saigon where many people are now unemployed.
Khiri Travel in Thailand is supporting the Covid Relief BKK Project set up by SOS Thailand (Scholars of Sustenance). Khiri is providing two vans for donating deliveries to communities, homeless shelters and health care centres.
Qatar Airways to give away 100,000 tickets to frontline healthcare workers
Qatar Airways has revealed plans to give away 100,000 free tickets to frontline healthcare professionals to say thank you for their work during the current pandemic.
The giveaway will open on May 12 and close on May 18. Healthcare professionals can register for this exclusive offer at qatarairways.com/ThankYouHeroes by submitting a form to receive a unique promotion code, offered on a first come, first served basis.
The 100,000 healthcare professionals that receive the promotion code can book up to two complimentary Economy Class return tickets on Qatar Airways operated flights – one for themselves and one for a companion – to anywhere on the airline’s global network. Tickets must be booked before 26 November, with travel valid until 10 December 2020.
AmaWaterways to reveals complimentary river cruise certificates for frontline workers
AmaWaterways has revealed a special offer for frontline workers from around the world to enjoy a complimentary river cruise.
As a gesture of appreciation, all medical professionals, key workers and employees of essential services are eligible to receive a complimentary Future Cruise Certificate*, which can be used with one paying guest in the same stateroom.
The certificate may be redeemed for any AmaWaterways Europe or Asia sailing until 31 December 2021 for reservations made within 90 days of the sailing date.
To apply for a Future Cruise Certificate call 0800 320 2336 or visit AmaWaterways.co.uk/Hero.
Courmayeur Mont Blanc to host live yoga class on Saturday 16th May
With lockdown restrictions in Italy being relaxed slightly, Courmayeur Mont Blanc has decided to launch a live yoga class on Saturday 16th May at 10am GMT.
The yoga class will be live-streamed on the Courmayeur Mont Blanc Instagram page, and will be hosted by expert yoga instructor Betta Frera, live from her garden.
Participants will be able to enjoy the stunning Mont Blanc mountains in the backdrop.
Emerald Waterways launches quiz ahead of Eurovision: Shine a Light
Ahead of the Eurovision: Shine a Light show, Emerald Waterways has put together a European quiz for Britons.
Entrants will be shown 15 different European flags and must match them to the correct countries and regions.
So far over 1,200 people have taken the quiz, and just 10% have managed to get full marks.
Think you can do better? Give it a go here.
Celestyal Cruises donates food and medical supplies to local Greek communities
Greek cruise company Celestyal Cruises has provided 5.5 tons of non-perishable food, as well as first aid kits and personal hygiene products to an estimated 7,500 residents in need in Piraeus.
The cruise line has also joined forces with the Ministry of Health, supporting the National Health System with a contribution of health supplies, including 12,000 surgical masks and 1,100 litres of liquid disinfectant.
Celestyal Cruises has also offered 50 three-day cruises for two people to first responders as a gesture of thanks for their hard work during the current crisis. The three-night cruises include stateroom accommodation, standard beverages, entertainment and gratuities, as well as two excursions to Ancient Ephesus, Kusadasi and the Palace of Knossos, Crete.
In addition, Celestyal Cruises will soon launch globally a special discount policy for frontline healthcare workers.
The Brighter Group staff volunteer in their local communities
Account manager Ellen Johnson has joined the Royal Marsden Hospital COVID-Response volunteers’ team to help support the NHS by helping with anything from admin to auditing deliveries and equipment to helping organise hospital donations. Ellen previously worked at the Royal Marsden during her time at university and really loved her time at the hospital.
Ellen is also volunteering locally at the Havering Foodbank in Essex where she is a member of a regular group of volunteers who help organise and sort donations from supermarkets and members of the public.
Vice president Jane Richards has been using her time to volunteer with Age Concern in Windsor and has been delivering meals on wheels to the elderly. She has also become a ‘Telephone Befriender’, which means she calls clients to check on their wellbeing and how they are coping in the current situation.
‘We are incredibly proud of our team and how they have not only coped with the situation of being furloughed but also used their time to support the communities around them. We miss them very much and cannot wait to be all together again’ said Debbie Flynn, managing partner, The Brighter Group.
Emirates Airline Foundation uses Skywards Miles to positively impact the lives of more than 90,000 people
Thanks to customer donations, the Emirates Airline Foundation used 132 million Skywards Miles to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of more than 90,000 people, mainly children, living in some of the most impoverished communities in the world.
In the same period the foundation also donated more than AED 6.5 million to 22 projects in 12 countries.
The foundation routinely supports 32 projects and non-government organisations in 18 countries worldwide through customer donations, corporate sponsorships and Emirates funds.
Support ranges from absorbing all annual running expenses and building infrastructure to running feeding and medical programmes, paying salaries and covering other ad hoc expenses.
The Foundation also appeals to Emirates’ customers to donate Skywards Miles on its website.
Customers who wish to donate their Skywards Miles can also do so on emirates.com/skywards.
The Savoy partners with City Harvest to support vulnerable communities
The Savoy is working with charity City Harvest to provide hundreds of meals each week to vulnerable communities in London which have been impacted by the lockdown.
A three-man team from The Savoy will be preparing meals following the strictest hygiene and social distancing procedures in hotel’s kitchens with ingredients donated by the hotel.
The team will be led by head chef Fabrice Lasnon, working with managing director Philip Barnes and executive assistant manager – food & beverage, Jan-Peer Lehfeldt, both of whom are currently living in The Savoy.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines unites homeworking and furlough teams in ‘Around the World Challenge’ for NHS Charities Together
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ head office staff have set themselves a challenge to walk around the world in a bid to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.
The challenge was created by Ellie Fulcher, sales manager – groups and affinity at the cruise line, and encourages people to use their one hour of daily exercise to see how far they can walk, run, cycle or even swim.
The team has already covered over 600 miles since the challenge launched on May 1.
Sandals announces winner of Wish You Were Here competition
Sandals recently ran a competition for agents to win a £50 Amazon voucher for recreating a Sandals holiday or fam trip at home.
Travel Counsellor Lucy Althorpe was the lucky winner, submitting the below adorable photo of her two children – congratulations, Lucy!
Party Hard Travel to host NHS raffle
Party Hard Travel will be live streaming their NHS raffle this Friday, with a holiday, VIP party experiences and other prizes up for grabs.
Nathan Dawe, Majestic, Joel Corry and Danny T have contributed prizes for the raffle, with all proceeds going to NHS Charities Together.
The live stream will run from 5pm to around 11pm on Friday 8th May 2020, and will be hosted by Faris Rai on the Party Hard Travel Facebook Page and YouTube channel. S
Party Hard Travel aim to raise £2,500 through the raffle, with tickets costing £2 each.
Co-founder Nathan Cable said: “All of us would rather be in Ibiza, Kavos or another party hotspot right now. I’m sure lots of NHS staff would rather be there too but instead they are working on the front line providing essential services. The best thing we can all do right now is offer our support for our NHS, and this is the best way we know how, with an event featuring some top DJs, raising money and having a good time. Once everything is back to normal, we’ll be offering discounts for our NHS staff too, so they can really let their hair down.”
Visit partyhardtravel.com/raffle to enter the draw.
Are you in need of a haircut? Brave the clippers for Just a Drop’s ‘#JustaHaircut’ Challenge
Just a Drop, is asking those in need of a lockdown haircut to tame their locks themselves and donate the cost of their usual haircut through the charity’s JustGiving Page.
Donations made through the haircut campaign will go towards Just a Drop’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Programme, ensuring over 380,000 people from remote communities across Asia, Africa and Latin America can access safe water and training around COVID-19, handwashing and soap-making.
If you would like to get involved with the #JustaHaircut initiative, all you need to do is:
1. Cut or clipper your hair and film yourself doing so
2. Donate the cost of your usual haircut to Just a Drop through their JustGiving Page
3. Share your videos and photos online with your message of support and nominate three friends to do the same.
See a video’s of those that have taken on the challenge so far below:
Egencia helps frontline healthcare workers access discounted hotel rooms
Egencia’s Helping Healthcare travel program aims to help healthcare workers around the world access hotel rooms at a discounted price.
• 90-day Egencia booking fee waiver
• Accelerated onboarding experience with no onboarding fees
• Special healthcare hotel rates at properties able to accommodate frontline workers
• Ongoing travel disruption notifications and updates
• 24/7 customer service in over 30 languages
• Access to best practices and advice via the Egencia Community
For more information or to sign up for the Egencia Helping Healthcare travel program, please visit egencia.com/helpinghealthcare.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group donates to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is donating 10% of online gift card sales to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization, up to a maximum of $20,000.
The initiative launches on May 5 and closes on May 31.
Mandarin Oriental gift cards can be redeemed at any of brands 33 properties around the world, and can be used toward a future stay. The gift cards never expire, so the recipient may redeem it when the time is right.
Gift cards can be purchased at MandarinOriental.com
Silversurfers receives record 10,000 entries to NHS competition
Martin Lock, chief executive of Silversurfers, says that their current online holiday competition is their most successful to date, with 10,000 entries now recorded.
The competition was launched in April with partner VIVID Travel, and offers one lucky winner a holiday for two to Canada worth £10,000.
Lock said: “We have been well and truly overwhelmed with the response to the competition so far, which has seen thousands of our members busy recommending hardworking NHS members in the prize draw.
“It is clear that the over 50s love the NHS, having all grown up with it and support it 100 per cent. All the wonderful comments our members are making about their incredible friends and relations in the NHS is so very heart-warming, especially at this time when the organisation and its people are under so much pressure. We have over one million members, and many of them have friends and family within the NHS and can see how incredibly dedicated and caring they are.”
Kane Pirie, managing director at VIVID Travel, added: “We are delighted with the response to the competition, and we were only too happy to donate a prize that benefits an NHS worker. We are in awe of their dedication and commitment and wish we could be in a position to offer them all a holiday!”
The competition is open until May 31 2020, and the prize will be drawn and announced in the first week of June.
Entries can be submitted here.
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa joins Buy One, Give One campaign to thank healthcare workers
To help jumpstart leisure travel, Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa in Puglia, Italy has joined other members of the hospitality industry to participate in Buy One, Give One, a program designed to generate immediate revenue for hotels while simultaneously providing a “thank you” to healthcare workers.
Available to buy on the hotel’s website and BuyOneGiveOneStay.com from now until 30th June 2020, the initiative sees one night contributed as a gifted stay to a healthcare worker for every two nights guests book to stay in the future.
The gifted stays will go to healthcare workers who can redeem the nights at a later date.
CV Villas offers essential workers 15 free holidays to Corfu
As a way of saying thank you to frontline key workers, CV Villas are donating 15 villa holidays to Corfu (including flights) in 2021.
NHS workers, supermarket employees, delivery drivers, pharmacists and community volunteers are eligible to enter the draw.
The winners will have a choice of travel dates during April and May 2021, and will be selected by a panel. They will be notified by 5 June 2020.
All nominees not selected will receive a £300 voucher for use against their 2021 CV Villas holiday, applicable to any villa in any destination.
You can submit a nomination here.
Asilia Africa offers 75% discount to healthcare and emergency service workers
Asilia Africa is offering discounts of up to 75% on a safari of a lifetime for healthcare and emergency service workers, from anywhere in the world, when travel resumes.
The East Africa operator has 19 camps across Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar in some of the continent’s most spectacular wild places.
In recognition of their service, healthcare workers can travel with a plus one (and children) to an Asilia property at the discounted rates until 31 May 2021.
Eligible job titles include doctors, nurses, carers and receptionists, as well as anyone working in the emergency services.
Commercial Director Gordie Owles says “We know that this gesture is not much compared to the sacrifice that so many have made during this pandemic. But we hope that by opening our doors and taking people out to the wilderness to recharge and reboot it goes some way to saying thank you for their heroic work.”
Hotels launch ‘Nights On Us’ initiative
The Nights On Us initiative aims to unite the UK hotel industry and offer a collaborative thank you to NHS workers most affected by coronavirus.
Working with a collection of UK-based luxury and boutique hotels, the initiative offers a hard-earned break for ICU workers in the form of a complimentary two night stay once the pandemic is over.
Email email@example.com for more information on how to book.
Travel Weekly contributors Jane Archer and Jeannine Williamson are among 12 British travel writers who have joined forces to produce a five-minute video to highlight why they love cruises.
The journalists, all working from home in lockdown, decided to act after “unbalanced and inaccurate coverage” of the industry over the handling of coronavirus cases during the pandemic.
All cruise lines have been forced to halt operations after countries around the world imposed restrictions on travel.
The writers work for leading consumer and trade publications including Travel Weekly.
Longevity Wellness Worldwide launches wellness soundtrack for working from home
Longevity Wellness Worldwide has introduced a new work from home playlist to help workers de-stress and relax.
The new playlist includes a range of music from relaxing summer songs that recreate the Portuguese holiday experience; to spa relaxation music; and Portuguese artists, including Bernardo Sassetti, Salvaor Sobral and Luisa Sobral.
Search for ‘Wellness Worldwide work from home wellness playlist’ on Spotfiy to listen for yourself.
MarBella Collection launches mindful colouring
MarBella Collection is now offering mindfulness colouring-in of images of their two hotels, MarBella Corfu and MarBella Nido, also in Corfu.
The luxury hotel group has employed a graphic designer to create colouring images of both the hotels and the picturesque surroundings of Corfu and Parga.
The images can be downloaded here.
Proud of your work? Post it to Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #mindfulwithmarbella.
Saga wishes Colonel Tom Moore a Happy 100th Birthday
— Iain Powell (@IainEPowell) May 1, 2020
If Only host daily yoga classes for staff and agent partners
Luxury tour operator If Only are offering complimentary virtual yoga and mindfulness sessions to their team and agent partners. The classes are hosted every lunchtime on Facebook, and have proved extremely popular as a way to turn off and refocus.
Susan Greenhorn, If Only product and commercial manager for Arabia and Indian Ocean, said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the yoga and meditation sessions which management have organised for us. I love having the chance to just get away from my laptop for 30 minutes each day and de-stress from all that’s going on at the moment, with the pressures of work and the outside world. Taking time out to learn yoga and mindfulness has definitely helped keep me calm through some stressful situations, and it’s something I think I’ll keep up once normality resumes.”
Head over to the If Only Facebook page at 12:30pm to join in with a live virtual yoga session.
Quinta Do Lago boutique hotel offers free rooms to healthcare workers
To show their appreciation for those frontline healthcare workers fighting coronavirus, Quinta do Lago will offer 100 free rooms at their boutique property, The Magnolia Hotel, for two people.
To apply, healthcare workers need to complete an online form which can be found here.
The offer is valid for two people for a one-night stay on a date of their choosing until the end of 2020, once travel resumes.
Stuba asks agents to nominate ‘real superheroes’ to win one of 20 hotel stays
Bedbank Stuba has teamed up with Travel Weekly to offer agents the chance to nominate a frontline heath worker to win one of 20 hotel stays.
Chief operating officer for the accommodation wholesaler, Matt Stuart, said: “We know that not all superheroes wear capes, and never has this been truer than in recent weeks, with our frontline health care workers putting their lives on the line for the wider public. Covid-19 has devastated our industry along with many others, and many people’s lives.
“At Stuba, we want to offer our sincere gratitude and offer the real superheroes of our time, a FREE hotel stay up to a value of £300 either in the UK or overseas, to be taken by December 31, 2021.”
To submit a nomination, email the details to realheroes@Stuba.com before 31 May 2020. Include their name, job title, place of work along with your name, agency and phone number.
Click here for full details.
Avani Hotels launches series of lockdown playlists
The Avani Hotels team have curated a selection of playlists to brighten up the ongoing lockdown.
All playlists are available on Spotify, including the ‘Work From Home’ playlist, a mix of pop and house hits by Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato, Jax Jones, Becky Hill, Khalid, David Guetta, DNCE, The Chainsmokers and Maroon 5.
To celebrate Avani Hotels’ entry into South Korea in late 2019, the team at Avani Central Busan Hotel have put together the ‘Korean Greatest Hits’ playlist, a mix of tunes from K-Drama and K-Pop.
Curated by SEEN Rooftop Restaurant & Bar’s music director Scotty B, the ‘Ladies’ Night Special’ playlist is inspired by the venue’s popular Mamacita Ladies’ Night.
Costa Rica Tourism Board releases kids activity book
The Costa Rica Tourism Board has just launched a learn-and-play activity book for children, featuring an array of colouring activities, puzzles and games.
The activities will help children to learn about Costa Rica’s wildlife, including sloths, frogs and sea turtles.
The 12-page book can be downloaded for free here.
Holland America Line and Seabourn BDM Katie Noviss welcomes baby girl to the team
— Katie Noviss (@KatieHALSBN) April 27, 2020
Virtually visit the Maldives with Coco Collection
Coco Collection will release a weekly livestream on Instagram from their turtle rescue centre, run in partnership with The Olive Ridley Project, a charity which carries out vital work to rehabilitate turtles.
Viewers can go behind the scenes at the centre, situated on Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu in the Maldives, every Tuesday at 11am.
On May 2, on both Instagram and Facebook, there will be a new video posted about ’Nemo’, one of the resident clownfish. The species is renowned for not straying far from their home, and the video will aim to help children understand the current ’stay at home’ message.
Coco Collection has also created 10 different Zoom backgrounds based on Coco’s best resort spots, which can be downloaded here.
Galley Bay Resort provides staff with fresh food
Galley Bay Resort is providing its 219 team members with regular fresh produce from Galley Bay’s gardens in food care packages delivered to their homes.
Staff members are also receiving a $100 gift voucher for the island’s grocery store Epicurean Fine Foods & Pharmacy with every delivery.
Galley Bay Resort & Spa’s gardens are the main source of ingredients for all guest menus, and the small gardener team are on site picking, packing and delivering food safely to their colleagues staying well at home until the resort re-opens.
Ionian and Aegean Island Holidays supports the NHS
Ionian and Aegean Island Holidays has partnered with Universal Dry Cleaners & Laundry to supply high-quality, reusable scrubs to the NHS.
So far Universal Dry Cleaners & Laundry has raised £5,000, which is being matched by Ionian and Aegean Island Holidays. The companies are aiming to raise £15,000 to make 1,500 sets of scrubs.
The money will go towards sourcing suitable materials and obtaining sowing machines. The reusable scrubs will be made by voltuneers.
The NHS has already received 600 sets of scrubs from the initative.
The companies will also provide free laundry services so that the scrubs can be reused safely.
Donations can be made here.
Abercrombie & Kent’s charity arm has set up an emergency relief fund to help vulnerable people around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It aims to ensure Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) continues to support the 125,000 people who currently rely on its charitable programmes at a time when countries are in lockdown.
Among the initiatives is ensuring school lunches are still delivered to the 3,500 children who currently receive meals from AKP but are now sick or isolated.
The charitable arm of the luxury tour operator is working with partners in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to support communities.
Read more here.
Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest supplies food for hospital staff
Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, is supporting doctors, nurses and other hospital staff by delivering 50 meals for lunch every day.
The hotel’s restaurant, Párisi Passage Café & Brasserie, cooks nutritious dishes and delivers them directly to the local hospital.
General manager Andrea Schwindt-Kiss said: “The appearance and rapid spread of COVID-19 has a serious impact on all of our lives. Hospital staff perform beyond all of their strength on a day-to-day basis, and their health and well-being are vital. With this gesture, we would like to help them and well as thank them for their work”.
10 or More launches new campaign offering luxury weekend breaks to NHS workers
Debbie Robinson, founder of 10 or More, has launched a new campaign #HotelsThanksTheNHS. With over 100 hotels already onboard, the campaign offers free hotel breaks around the UK to frontline NHS workers.
Participating hotels include the newly opened The Standard, London offering two nights stay for two people with breakfast and dinner; The Landmark, London will offer a stay for two in a Superior Double room with breakfast; and Nobu is offering stays across in its existing and soon to open London Hotels, plus a couples massage and cocktails.
Outside of London, Iconic Luxury Hotels offers stays across its portfolio of hotels including Cliveden, Chewton Glen and The Lygon Arms.
Leonardo Hotels and Jury’s Hotels have combined to offer weekend breaks at 48 hotels across the country, and Design Hotels is offering NHS workers a weekend stay in a chosen hotel anywhere in the world (except New York).
For more information and a full list of participating hotels please visit: 10ormore.com/hotelsthankthenhs
Travel industry professionals share what they love about Barbados
£4000 raised for Reuben’s Retreat in the Two Point Six Challenge
More than 25 tonnes of food have been distributed by Tui Group hotels and resorts to welfare organisations in holiday destinations around the world.
RIU has donated 22 tonnes of fresh food to social and medical institutions in Spain, one of the European countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, 40,000 gloves, 25,000 masks and 5,000 litres of disinfectant and cleaning agents were provided to combat the spread of the virus.
Grupotels in Majorca donated the use of delivery vans and provided food donations to various charity organisations on the island.
Employees of Tui Blue Schladming in Austria supplied their local senior citizens’ centre with food.
Read more here.
Frontline workers in the fight against coronavirus will be offered 25% discounts in a ‘Holidays for Heroes’ campaign started by Hotelbeds.
Bookings can made via selected Hotelbeds channels, the bedbank’s retail brand Bedsonline and a white label B2B2C platform set up to sell direct to those eligible.
The booking period will run from mid-May until October 31 for arrivals until the end of the year and all rates will be fully refundable.
Hotelbeds will also donate €5 to the International Red Cross for every reservation with funds raised to assist vulnerable people.
Workers such as health professionals, security forces, farmers, supermarket and pharmacy workers, delivery workers, cleaning staff, journalists will be among those eligible.
Holland America Line crew on board Nieuw Statendam create music video
British Airways is adding eight additional flights per week from China carrying cargo including PPE equipment and ventilators for the NHS.
The national flag carrier is to operate 21 flights per week from China as of May 14, each carrying up to 770 tonnes.
Cargo is being shipped in a joint effort between British Airways, its sister company IAG Cargo, the UK Government and the British Embassy in Beijing.
Fourteen of the weekly flights will depart from Shanghai, and seven from Beijing with some cargo carried in the aircraft cabin. Medical equipment will be delivered to NHS hospitals all over the UK.
Finn Partners launches collection of Zoom backgrounds
Finn Partners Travel have launched a collection of 23 animated Zoom backgrounds from 14 destinations around the world, including Belize, Cape Town, Dubai and Taiwan.
Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner at Brighter Group, a Finn Partners company, said: “Zoom has become a crucial part of daily life, from work calls and lessons to social engagements and family catch ups, our way of interacting has changed dramatically and video calling has become part of our new normal. We represent so many beautiful destinations around the world and wanted to bring some fun, travel escapism into the daily routines of our colleagues, friends and the travel industry. We hope you enjoy them!”
Finn Partners Zoom backgrounds can be downloaded here.
Miles Morgan Travel staff show their appreciation for the NHS
We want to thank the amazing NHS workers for their hard work and incredible dedication to keeping us all safe in these troubling times.
Please join us in clapping for the NHS tonight at 8pm to show your appreciation.
— Miles Morgan Travel (@MilesMorganNews) April 23, 2020
More than 35,000 surplus items of stock from easyJet’s in-flight retail range have been donated to charities nationwide.
These include 1,500 products from the airline’s base at Luton airport to support the HelpNHSHeroes campaign.
The products which would normally be sold on board flights will be bundled together and given as care packages for NHS workers.
Crisps, biscuits, orange juice, snack boxes, muffins and chocolate brownies are being delivered to local causes across the UK in the areas where easyJet has bases including NHS workers and homeless charities.
Windjammer Landing Villa Resort in Saint Lucia provides food for local key workers
Windjammer Landing Villa Resort has donated perishable food to the Saint Lucia police force and NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization) as they delivered food items to those who could not leave their homes.
The resort team were also involved in preparing 3000 meals for underprivileged Saint Lucia residents.
The food was provided by local farmers, prepared by the Windjammer Landing team and then picked up by volunteers to be distributed.
Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays offers free holiday for NHS worker
Family-run holiday company Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays has launched an online giveaway for NHS workers to win a free holiday in one of their properties.
The winning NHS worker will be treated to a three-night stay in stunning sixteenth century semi-detached thatched Rosemary Cottage, in the rural area of Weston on the outskirts of Sidmouth, Devon.
The winner will be chosen shortly after the giveaway closing date and can book their stay at Rosemary Cottage on any non-peak weeks, beginning when UK travel restrictions are fully lifted.
Tripadvisor launches programme to connect NHS trusts with hotel rooms
Tripadvisor has launched Hotels for Health, a programme to connect NHS trusts with hotels who can supply rooms to frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The programme allows NHS trusts to flag that they need rooms, and for hotels to advise they have spare rooms available. The team at Tripadvisor will then connect the hotels to NHS trusts in need.
Contiki to give away newly designed t-shirts to frontline workers
Contiki recently launched a new range of travel-inspired merchandise in partnership with ethical fashion producers Teemill, and will be giving away a number of its newly designed t-shirts to frontline workers.
Contiki is asking its Instagram audience to nominate a healthcare or frontline worker they want to say thank you to. To nominate somebody, tag them in the comments of the giveaway post on Contiki’s Instagram page and tell them why they think they’re special.
The giveaway will take place on Friday 24th April.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts launch virtual Caribbean fam trips
Agents can brush up on their product knowledge with Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ immersive 360° virtual tours, which cover five Sandals Resorts in Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua and Grenada and Beaches Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica.
Each tour allows agents to explore rooms and suites, the beach, pools, bars, restaurants and spa areas, as well as see selected areas of each resort at night.
Tours are available online on the Sandals and Beaches Resorts websites:
Explore Sandals Royal Barbados
Explore Sandals South Coast
Explore Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Explore Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa
Explore Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Explore Beaches Negril Resort & Spa
Female BA pilots create video to show thanks to key workers
— Jai Dillon (@jaidillon) April 22, 2020
Meliá Hotels International to give away 10,000 2-night hotel stays to healthcare workers
Meliá Hotels International is planning to give away 10,000 two-night hotel stays for two people, valued at 34,000 MeliáRewards points.
The stays can be booked in any of the hotels operated by the company all over the world, as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
Healthcare workers have until April 28 to request their stays by filling in a form on melia.com. Successful applicants will have to show proof that they are healthcare workers when they check into the hotel.
Saint Lucia’s Barnard family donates £100,000 to Sunswept Resorts staff
The Barnard family of Saint Lucia has donated £100,000 to match the donations already raised by past guests to support SunSwept Resorts’ team members during the coronavirus crisis.
The donation by the entire family, will complement the efforts already being undertaken by SunSwept Resorts to support its team members and the future of tourism on the island.
The donation will be evenly distributed across all 575 team members of SunSwept Resorts’ BodyHoliday and Rendezvous resorts who have been furloughed until the resorts reopen.
Rosewood Hotel Group launches ‘Rosewood Raise’ to support staff
‘Rosewood Raise’ is a relief initiative in support of the Rosewood Hotel Group staff who have been impacted by coronavirus, as well as the communities in which the group operates.
The relief initiative includes donating hotel room stays, meals and supplies for essential workers.
The fund has already raised almost $2 million from Rosewood Hotel Group’s corporate executives.
At Rosewood London, Michael Bonsor has launched the Hospitality4Heroes Social Challenge with the aim of raising £10,000 to support the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal.
Head chef of Holborn Dining Room, Calum Franklin, and his team have been cooking meals for NHS staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Sales reps unite for trade support video
More than 70 on-the-road sales reps, stuck at home while the UK self-isolates, have made a video to show their support for the trade during the coronavirus crisis.
The video features each representative catching a lemon while relaxing or bored at home, then cuts to a shot of them in their ‘uniform’, happily showcasing their brand.
Suppliers ranging from cruise lines and touring and adventure operators to insurance brokers and online training companies are featured.
Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels offers NHS workers 50% discount
Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels has introduced a 50% offer for all NHS and private health care workers to say thank you for working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Front line medical staff and their immediate family can receive a 50% discount on accommodation and meal plans at select luxury Beachcomber hotels across Mauritius.
Hotels included in the offer are Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (excluding villas), Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (excluding villas), Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa,
Constantinou Bros Hotels, Paphos supports local community
The Constantinou family, owners of Constantinou Bros Hotels in Paphos, have donated €30,000 to the Cyprus Ministry of Health for the purchase of PPE and food for doctors and nursing staff at Paphos General Hospital.
Executive president Andreas Constantinou said: “It is our way of saying a big thank you to all the doctors and nursing staff, who are fighting Covid-19 and our contribution to help towards the pandemic.”
DHM Hotels offers rooms to vulnerable individuals and key workers
Discovery Hotel Management has launched an initiative to support the victims and healthcare professionals fighting coronavirus.
Properties across Portugal will re-open to house vulnerable elderly individuals who have been displaced as care homes have been closed, and key workers including firefighters, first responders and healthcare workers.
DHM properties will also donate essential supplies and food to those in need.
The Lanesborough treats NHS staff at St George’s Hospital to afternoon tea
The Lanesborough will mark St George’s Day by delivering NHS staff at St George’s Hospital the hotel’s limited-edition Peggy Porschen afternoon tea.
A selection of finger sandwiches, scones and Peggy Porschen’s signature pink cakes will be delivered on St George’s Day itself to the NHS teams across all wards at the hospital to thank them for all their service.
All food will be prepared in The Lanesborough kitchens before being individually packaged in takeaway boxes to be delivered to the hospital.
The Lanesborough’s managing director Marco Novella said: “In these unprecedented times where every gesture, no matter how big or small, helps to contribute to the wellbeing of our brave hospital workers, all the team at The Lanesborough join the heartfelt applause of all the country to the NHS and to everyone who is fighting against this invisible enemy, now and in the future.”
Simpson Travel offers 10 NHS workers free holiday
By way of a thank you, we will be offering a holiday to ten of our NHS staff and care workers in 2021. If you would like to nominate anyone who has been on the frontline in the Coronavirus pandemic, simply send us their details – firstname.lastname@example.org. #treatournhs#nhspic.twitter.com/AIxjsNd3Ld
— Simpson Travel (@simpsontravel) April 20, 2020
Tourism Thailand launches ‘Stay Home Thai Style’ campaign
Tourism Thailand is bringing a taste of Thailand to you, with a selection of recipes, exercises and activities you can try at home.
Improve your posture, try a full body workout or make a classic pad thai – there’s plenty of options to choose from here.
Tourism Thailand also encourages you to record a video trying one of the activities and post it onto the Fan Club Thailand Facebook page.
TransIndus launches competition for NHS worker to win a luxury holiday
TransIndus is asking for the public to nominate an NHS worker to win an inclusive luxury holiday to India for two people worth £5000.
The prize is inclusive of airfare, ground arrangements, full board luxury accommodation, transfers and transport, sightseeing, English speaking guides and monument fees.
Anyone can submit a nomination by completing this form.
Etihad Airways catering arm to provide meals for those impacted by coronavirus
Etihad Airport Services Catering (EAS Catering) has been commissioned by various government entities, businesses and community centres to prepare and provide meals to those impacted by coronavirus.
Since the start of the pandemic, EAS Catering has cooked and delivered over 15,000 meals a day to people self-isolating or under quarantine, frontline medical staff, humanitarian drives and for various businesses.
A lovely act of kindness from Rosewood London
Thank you @RosewoodLondon for cooking up a wonderful selection of tasty treats for staff at GOSH. They look absolutely scrumptious!! #rosewoodlondon#thepieroom#holborndiningroompic.twitter.com/v9UDpKJAmt
— GOSH Charity Partnerships (@GOSHCCPartners) April 16, 2020
Holland America Line launches HAL@Home series
Holland America Line’s new video series, HAL@Home, features entertainment from onboard performers, cooking demonstrations and destination highlights.
The first in the series features Culinary Council member chef Ethan Stowell, demonstrating how to make one of his favourite pasta dishes. You can watch the video here:
Another video features a musical performance celebrating Lincoln Center Stage, part of the Music Walk® live music experience on Holland America Line ships. The venue features world-class musicians performing anything from classical to contemporary music. You can watch it here:
174 Scenic Eclipse passengers successfully repatriated
Following airport and port closures as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Scenic Eclipse was unable to dock in Ushuaia on 18 March after it’s Antarctica in Depth voyage.
Instead, the ship was required to change course and sail to Montevideo in Uruguay to safely disembark all 174 passengers.
After spending an extra 10 days onboard the ship, all passengers, including 17 UK nationals, arrived safely home last week on dedicated charter flights.
Passengers on board said: “The Captain was absolutely fantastic in every respect. He always kept us informed and maintained high morale with all the passengers. While all this was going on we continued to enjoy the excellent food, drink and service that Scenic is famous for. It says a lot that the crew remained very upbeat, even though their own circumstances were uncertain. The goodwill and efficiency shown by Scenic makes me very proud to know that an Australian company is right at the top level. Thank you once again.”
Football Escapes auctions Premier League football shirts to raise money for NHS
Football Escapes is auctioning off shirts previously worn by Premier League stars to raise money for NHS HEROES.
The shirts have all been worn by former players at pivotal moments in footballing history; the latest shirt up for auction is the Chelsea shirt worn by Joe Cole during the FA Cup Final vs. Portsmouth, his last game for the team.
Previous lots have included a shirt worn by Bobby Zamora for Queens Park Rangers, during the 2014 Playoff Final, which raised an incredible £6,000.
Upcoming auction lots include:
• A Chelsea shirt worn by Joe Cole during the FA Cup Final vs. Portsmouth, his last game for the team
• An England shirt previously worn by Declan Rice
Click here to make a bid.
Mahlatini offers healthcare worker holiday for two to South Africa
Mahlatini and The Last Word Intimate Hotels and Safari Camps want to thank healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus crisis by offering them a trip for two to South Africa worth over £10,000.
Anyone can nominate a healthcare worker that they think deserves to win the trip, which will can be taken once travel restrictions are lifted.
Mahlatini will shortlist three healthcare workers from all nominations received and then we will invite the public to vote for and choose the winner.
The trip will include:
• Return international flights to the value of £500 per person
• Two nights at The Last Word, Constantia, Cape Town on a B&B basis inclusive of drinks
• Two nights at The Last Word, Franschhoek on a B&B basis inclusive of drinks
• Three nights all-inclusive at The Last Word Kitara, Greater Kruger National Park on a full board basis
• Internal flight from Cape Town to Hoedspruit Airport
• All road transfers to and from airports and between properties (courtesy of The • Last Word & Sable Tours)
• Safari game drives at The Last Word Kitara
• Conservation fees at Kruger National Park
Nominations can be submitted here.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts offers complimentary Gold membership upgrade to key workers
The hotel chain’s #EverydayHeroes initiative offers all essential workers on the front line of the current coronavirus crisis complimentary Gold membership upgrades as part of loyalty programme Wyndham Rewards®.
Eligible workers include lorry drivers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, construction workers, sanitation workers, grocery associates and healthcare workers. The offer is available to both new and existing Wyndham Rewards members.
Wyndham Rewards Gold membership benefits include members-only discounts, a dedicated member services line, preferred rooms, accelerated points earning and late checkout.
Hotels across Dubai light up with glowing hearts
As part of a global initiative, Dubai’s hotels turned off their room lights and illuminated windows to create glowing hearts. The aim was to inspire hope through simple but powerful visual communication.
A total of 20 hotels across Dubai took part, including Atlantis the Palm, Address Dubai Mall, Address Boulevard, Rove Downtown and Voco Dubai.
Avani Hotels shares tips on staying fit in lockdown
Avani Hotels has teamed up with four fitness influencers to produce a series of AvaniFit-inspired home workout routines.
Among the Instagram influencers contributing to the project is Steph Elswood, who produced her workout video during a recent stay at Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Zambia.
Visit Instagram.com/Avani_Hotels or follow the #AvaniFit hashtag on Instagram to try one of the workout routines, or to get tips and daily at-home fitness inspiration.
Oualie Beach Resort gives free accommodation to NHS workers
Oualie Beach Resort on the island of Nevis is offering 20 front-line NHS workers a week-long free stay for two.
John Yearwood, host and managing director of the resort, said: “Many of our Resort’s clients are from the UK and we are saddened by the daily devastating news of loss of life and loss of livelihoods. The courage of the front-line staff of the NHS in risking their own health to save lives is truly inspiring and deserves recognition.”
Reservations can be made via Resort Marketing International.
Sandals ‘virtual choir’ sings Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds
Samujana supports Koh Samui community
Thai villa estate Samujana is aiming to provide 750 meals a week to those in need, and has been delivering homemade face masks to the island’s public hospital.
The Samujana team have partnered with the village chief to bring 150 meals and 200 bottles of water to disadvantaged people living in the villages of Plai Laem and Bophut, where many have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.
By next week, the team plans to increase the number of meals to 250, which will be served to locals at least three times a week.
They have also delivered 150 homemade face masks and 300 food boxes and bottles of water to nearby Koh Samui Hospital.
A video message from the team at Elite Island Resorts
CzechTourism and Budvar deliver isolation care packages to affected travellers
CzechTourism and Budvar are offering 500 care packages for UK travellers forced to cancel trips to the Czech Republic amid the current coronavirus crisis, as part of their ‘Cheers From Czech’ campaign.
Would-be tourists should upload evidence of their cancelled flights. The first 500 to respond will have a care package, offering ‘a taste of the Czech Republic’, delivered directly to their door.
Pata UK & Ireland launches #stayhometravellater campaign
Share your work from home photos alongside a destination you intend to travel to after this is all over.
Thank you Britain
British Airways has written a poem to the British public, and staff including cabin crew, pilots and ground handlers have performed it in a video, which you can watch here.
Safari specialists Seolo Africa is offering a free three-night safari at the end of lockdown to the winning entry in its #memorysharing competition, which is asking customers to post pictures on social media of their memories staying at the properties.
Stansted pays tribute to NHS
Stansted has created a 10×7 metre thank you message on its airfield in tribute to the frontline staff working for the NHS.
Uniworld gives past guests complimentary newspapers and magazines
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is helping past guests pass the time at home with complimentary access to digital newsstand PressReader, which is available to guests onboard all Uniworld ships.
PressReader provides unlimited access to thousands of newspapers and magazines from all over the world, and Uniworld is extending complimentary access to the platform to all past cruisers for 90 days.
Uniworld chief executive Ellen Bettridge said: “It’s hard to grasp how much our world has changed over the past few weeks. We find ourselves in challenging times as COVID-19 increasingly impacts our everyday lives. As a community of world travellers, I know that the prospect of staying indoors, social distancing and pausing your travel plans is especially frustrating.
“To help pass this time, I’m pleased to let you know that our partner, PressReader, is providing our River Heritage Club members complimentary and unlimited access to news and entertainment from around the world through their digital content platform for 90 days.”
Sandals and Beaches Resorts launch Caribbean-themed Zoom backgrounds
Agents can choose one of the 13 backgrounds, featuring a selection of white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea as well as some of the brand’s over-water suites in Jamaica, a SkyPool suite in Grenada or the rooftop infinity pool at Sandals Royal Barbados.
Backgrounds can be downloaded online and a guide on how to use them is available on the Selling Sandals For Agents Facebook page.
Karl Thompson, managing director of Unique Vacations UK, said: “This is our way of trying to bring a little bit of joy and Caribbean sunshine to agents in these testing and uncertain times. We really want people to forget where they are and have a little bit of fun with it. Fancy dress, optional.”
Jet2holidays launches Easter competition
Jet2holidays has hatched an egg-cellent online competition, giving you the chance to win a holiday or money-off holidays and flights.
To enter the competition, visit easter.jet2holidays.com and break open either a Jet2holidays, Jet2CityBreaks, Jet2Villas, Indulgent Escapes or VIBE by Jet2holidays Easter egg by tapping your screen. You will automatically be entered into the prize draw.
The competition closes on 12th April.
TransIndus donates proceeds from book sales to help fight coronavirus in India
Tour operator TransIndus will donate proceeds from any book sales made through their Amazon Affiliation to Give India, a charity providing the minimum wage to those who have been affected by the closure of businesses across India.
Give India has reached 850 families so far, providing them with cash in hand to help them through the crisis.
TransIndus managing director Amrit Singh said: “It’s important to remember that however uncertain things are at home here in the UK, we are in an incredibly privileged position compared to other parts of the world. Where possible, we are doing our best to support those most in need and this partnership with Give India is the least we can do at this time.”
MSC Cruises looks to the future
There are times when we must stand down; moments in which our instincts to wander must be put on hold. But no difficulty can stop us from dreaming, imagining and hoping for a new day. When tomorrow comes, we can turn our desire to sail into reality. Together. @MSC_Cruises_UKpic.twitter.com/nxNu37Y0Zg
— Antonio Paradiso (@AntonyParadiso) April 9, 2020
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:
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
— Robert Rinder (@RobbieRinder) April 8, 2020
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.
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 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
Turn the volume up and escape for a few moments to one of our favourite places. Here’s the first in our new series – we hope it will transport you to the real place.#KuoniMomentspic.twitter.com/XA4HB4u57e
— Kuoni (@KuoniTravelUK) April 7, 2020
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
While we can only dream of travel right now, we invite you take a moment, close your eyes and be transported to some of our favourite dreamy destinations. Stay tuned for more over the coming weeks. Stay Curious. pic.twitter.com/OPrOkbjrkf
— Carrier (@carrierholidays) April 6, 2020
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
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
Former BA and Thomas Cook pilot steps in as Tesco delivery driver
— Peter Login (@pjlogin) April 4, 2020
Try a home workout with an AmaWaterways’ wellness host
While we’re all at home staying safe, why not enjoy a short home workout with our Amawaterways’ Wellness Host, Selina: https://t.co/v0dfDGtA8i
— AmaWaterwaysUK Trade (@AmaUKAgents) April 6, 2020
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
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.
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.
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.
— Graeme Brett (@brettgraemew) April 5, 2020
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.
#SupportTheNHS#StayHomeSaveLives@TTNG_Membership I decided to cheer our high street window up and show our appreciation for our NHS. I hope people take pictures of it and do the same pic.twitter.com/m9GS7Q5qGY
— Paul Philpott (@Pabalo74) April 3, 2020
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 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.
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 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
A key member of staff is furloughed at Malvern World Travel
@Lucy_Huxley We’ve decided that we have no option we have to Furlough our Malvern World Travel office Junior Maisie, furenough we thought, but , she’s not taking it that well, and Has decided as retribution , to run off with our Office Bin…. pic.twitter.com/DzXdCSYrTb
— Lee Harrison, (@MalvernWorld) April 2, 2020
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
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.
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.
Graeme is getting frustrated at not being able to get a haircut while he is working from home. He says he will shave his head if enough people sponsor him for @chloeandliam24t See details at https://t.co/08sN6ZO0aypic.twitter.com/ZbMPkQ1ih8
— Westoe Travel (@westoetravel) April 1, 2020
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.
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 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.
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?
‼️We want to say a massive THANK YOU to Key Workers‼️
You can nominate someone to WIN a city break for two in Budapest for a Key Worker!
– Tag your favourite key worker.
– Tell us why they deserve to win.
Closees 15TH APRIL 2020! @WorcesterHour#worcestershirehourpic.twitter.com/z6lriayNm3
— Spires Travel (@SpiresTravel) March 30, 2020
It’s the little things that make a difference
— Sarah Cook (@Sarahctravel) March 30, 2020
Not all heroes wear capes
Our agency partners have been nothing but amazing, last few weeks, the work they have been putting in around the clock has been nothing short of heroic. They might not wear capes to work but they are super heroes all the same in every travel companies eyes
— Brian Young (@brianryoung) March 31, 2020
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.
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 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.”
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.
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 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.
.@AdvantageHQ member, @AlthamsTravel has kindly offered their services to the NHS during COVID-19. Whilst their fleet of airport transport vehicles and drivers is grounded, the team at Althams has been delivering medicines and driving patients to appointments. pic.twitter.com/7ojRl6TWeE
— The Brighter PR Team (@BrighterPR) March 27, 2020
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.
— Paul Riches (@paulfromlondon) March 28, 2020
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.
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.”
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.
Spirit of Discovery lights up for the NHS
— Iain Powell (@IainEPowell) March 26, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
We love the NHS!
— Paul Ludlow (@PaulLudlowUK) March 25, 2020
Anyone in need of a motivation playlist?
Travel industry friends & colleagues, my gorgeous husband created this lovely playlist for his clients & colleagues to keep them motivated whilst working at home. I’ve ‘borrowed’ the link, let’s share & keep spirits high! https://t.co/GCch34Bimb@travelweeklypic.twitter.com/5xHwdHT9N8
— Oliver B (@traveloliver) March 25, 2020
Free kids activity packs from Travel Weekly
Wfh? @travelweekly has put together family resources for parents to entertain the kids with in partnership with @twinklresources and we’ll be updating them every week. Check out the first ones here: https://t.co/YtqxwRTDxm
— Laura French (@laurafrench121) March 25, 2020
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
— Katie McGonagle (@katie_mcgonagle) March 24, 2020
Warner Leisure Hotels gives food to those in need
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
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?
— Chris Redfern (@redfern438) March 24, 2020
We love this idea! Who else will be joining the #notgoingoutclub?
— Saga (@SagaUK) March 23, 2020
Get those 2021 bookings in if you can
— Iain Powell (@IainEPowell) March 24, 2020
May as well make the most of it!
The Sea Princess crew are enjoying the whole ship while we wait for our passengers to return.#princesscruises#cruiseship@PrincessCruises@Princess_AUST@PortholeCruise#WeWillBeBackpic.twitter.com/dWcjzfH7pW
— Captain Tony Ruggero (@tonyruggero) March 23, 2020
A big thank you to all medical professionals at this time and always
The officers and crew of Rotterdam came together to thank medical professionals and first responders who are working around the clock, taking care of our friends, neighbors and communities. #WeApplaud#CruiseStrong#WeWillBeBackpic.twitter.com/JxEgRkfMiW
— Holland America Line (@HALcruises) March 23, 2020
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!
Another reason to always book with a travel agent
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!
— Miles Morgan (@MMTMan) March 22, 2020
Who will be joining a Royal Caribbean virtual cruise?
One of our amazing cruise directors, Abe Hughes created our daily cruise compass as we take our voyage on the Virtual of the Seas. @RoyalCaribbean@HarleyCaptain@JamesVanFleetpic.twitter.com/sM2QtTAjXp
— Bruce Clifford (@BruceClifford8) March 22, 2020
There’s something odd about the newest addition to the Newmarket Holidays team
We hope you managed to see your mum from a safe distance over the weekend
So my kids & I spent Saturday making this, so we could sneak into my Mum’s back garden and surprise her today. We waved through the window – & left a 3-course meal, some treats, flowers & cards on the back doorstep. Not the Mother’s Day we planned but very special all the same x pic.twitter.com/Uedg9uqBet
— Lucy Huxley (@Lucy_Huxley) March 22, 2020
Messages of thanks make a big difference
It’s the little things. Messages like this make it all worthwhile ♥️ pic.twitter.com/CJiso8lSug
— Chris Wright (@ChrisStosWright) March 21, 2020
Kind customers help keep spirits high
A big thank you for the Kuoni team
Big shout out to Trish @KuoniTravelUK Faye @KuoniMaldives and Dalall@Travelwise. Got us home BRILLIANTLY. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts #Kuoni#Travelwise#stranded#Emirates#unprecedentedtimes
— Amanda Knight (@awoho) March 20, 2020
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
This is Hugh from our marketing team whilst on our first home-working conference call. He put a beach backdrop on his massive tv and dressed for the occasion. Be more like Hugh people. pic.twitter.com/4xpQ5a0STF
— Dean Harvey (@harveydean) March 20, 2020
Share a video of yourself ‘holidaying at home’ with Icelolly.com
— Stuart Barrett (@stubarrett123) March 20, 2020
What a great idea. Will more cruise lines do this?
— The Cruise Guru (@CruiseGuru_) March 20, 2020
Great news from Cosmos!
*Good news klaxon*
Cosmos & its sister brands have launched a new travel agent portal and online tools to help agencies.
As well as the portal, there is a new training programme & extra incentives.@CosmosTradeUK@CosmosUK@janetparton@travelweeklyhttps://t.co/1HTOFGDh1Ppic.twitter.com/1SK6ILJIzX
— ATAS (@ATAS_travel) March 20, 2020
A lovely message from the Azamara UK & Ireland sales team
Shubhra Halliday at Prestige Holidays is looking on the bright side
Team Carnival are still smiling on their daily video conference
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?
Had clients knock on the door today at @haslemeretravel (closed to the public for obvious reasons) to ask for brochures on #safari holidays. Never have we been more pleased to hand them over…..from a safe distance #wecandothis
— Gemma Antrobus (@LuxuryTravelGem) March 19, 2020
Random acts of kindness go a long way in these difficult times
In a time when it’s tough for everyone, I’ve just been left speechless (and a little tearful) by my amazing team for this delivery. In these tough times they’ve made me smile, when it should be me doing that for them. ❤️#TravelsGoodDeeds#WorkingTogether@CosmosTradeUKpic.twitter.com/PqsMCe5f78
— Janet Parton (@janetparton) March 20, 2020
Another productive video conference
— Steve Dunlop Photographer (@DunlopPhoto) March 20, 2020
A simple thank you can go a long way
AmaWaterways are ready and waiting
The rivers continue to flow, as does our love for our guests. While our ships are docked, our story goes on. Our extraordinary crew is patiently waiting to welcome you on board and turn your journey into a cherished memory. We invite you to share your memories using #AmaMeansLovepic.twitter.com/ol9z4HT0tU
— AmaWaterways (@AmaWaterways) March 19, 2020
The Advantage marketing team has a new recruit
— Advantage Travel Partnership (@AdvantageHQ) March 20, 2020
Congratulations to If Only’s Dom Carrick, lovely news!
Travel Weekly’s editorial team enjoying seeing each other’s homes on a video chat this morning
Did anyone else tune in and have a little dance?
I certainly enjoyed starting the day with Jamiroquai – made me dance around the room with my morning cup of tea. Nice to hear your positivity first thing in the morning Adam! #desertislanddisco
— Hollie-Rae Brader (@Hollierae_tw) March 20, 2020
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’
The Caterer team start and end each day with a 16-way video call to stay in touch and stay strong. It was pet Thursday yesterday. What should today’s theme be? Fancy dress Friday? pic.twitter.com/lsgKm2kw3n
— Chris Gamm (@CatererEditor) March 20, 2020
Emma from Celebrity Cruises is sending the trade some love
What a lovely gesture – we’re sure they deserve it
Get in touch with the If Only team today if you can
The @IfOnlyPartners sales team sadly have been grounded, but we won’t let this clip our agent friendly wings. We have video meetings & webinars ready to go, & fab deals to share for later in 2020 & 2021. We had a virtual team chat on how we can help “Make Travel Beautiful” again pic.twitter.com/zto1GU6aKv
— Dom Carrick (@domcarrick) March 19, 2020
What a lovely thing to do!
Take some time out with your furry friends
— Lindsay Garvey-Jones (@LGJHX) March 19, 2020
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:
Aspire editor Hollie-Rae Brader shares this photo of some of team Aspire and Travel Weekly having a catch up this morning:
And a very smiley team Azamara, shared by strategic account manager Stuart Pearce:
Everyone’s favourite travel industry photographer Steve Dunlop shared this photo of his very cute teammates:
Fancy winning some prizes?
@travelweekly keeping spirits night with ITC Travel Group Spotify Playlist for all travel agents and partners to keep spirits high. We are asking agents send best pictures listening to win a prize to keep them going pic.twitter.com/eYU6WQI6x2
— Chris Redfern (@redfern438) March 19, 2020
Some lovely news from Swords Travel
Another lovely story to come out of this surreal situation: https://t.co/XZKMaXXtOX♥️We caught up with @swords_travel to hear how they’re keeping clients inspired and positive through the madness of #coronavirus@theMRswords@AspireTravel#TravelsGoodDeeds#TravelAgents
— Erica Bush (@ericagracebush) March 19, 2020
MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises send messages of hope
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.
The APT team are here for you if you need a chat
Grateful for a new day in this surreal, uncertain world we now find ourselves in.
Like many, I’m not on the road & will be working from home, but I wanted to say that I’m here for anyone who wants to talk, rant or rave!
We will get through this together ❤️#TravelFamily#BeKindpic.twitter.com/tfxPpxeGsD
— Becky Baumbach (@APT_Becky) March 19, 2020
Reaching out to a friend or colleague can make all the difference
The power of the industry… after a dark day for me yesterday, I received so many texts, calls and check ins I am back to my normal self and feeling better about things again. Still challenges and uncertainty ahead, but ready to face it. Thankyou to everyone ❤️❤️
— Julie Franklin (@jfranklin_skye) March 19, 2020
The Cosmos team are here for you
This is my team, who I’m super proud of. Getting stuck in, rolling up their sleeves, supporting our travel agents, supporting each other, putting others first and always there when I need them. They’re here for you too. @CosmosTradeUK@AvalonTradeUK#DreamTeampic.twitter.com/CfmKwLCn5F
— Janet Parton (@janetparton) March 19, 2020
A small gesture of kindness goes a long way
Some wonderful clients bringing in flowers, chocolates and wine to say thank you for rebooting their next holiday. Also lots of messages asking us if we are ok. Need this madness to end! https://t.co/tUUaSWZkDr
— Carol Kirkham (@KirkhamTravel) March 19, 2020
Great work from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines!
— Carol Kirkham (@KirkhamTravel) March 19, 2020
A toast to the trade
Some @vaflightstore feedback at this difficult time…
” We are all raising a very large glass to you all!!
THANKS all looks great and exactly what we want
A massive thank you from me I can now de-stress
— Rachel Greenough (@RachGreenough) March 18, 2020
A simple thank you can go a long way
From Mandy in my Abergavenny shop
Walking to the car tonight,met by the man I got home on an emergency flight from the Philippines last night he was hoping to see me to say thank you for all my help and support.
Thats when I know im doing my best at a job I love#TravelsGoodDeeds
— Miles Morgan (@MMTMan) March 18, 2020
Icelolly.com are stilling seeing an appetite to travel from the public
A bit of positivity from @icelollyholiday– dark blue line is today. We supported @easyJet with their winter 2020 sale. Earlier we promoted it on social and the app, later in the afternoon on email. While the numbers are obvs lower, it shows the appetite to travel. #KeepTheFaithpic.twitter.com/KoRyjHEvW8
— Richard Singer (@rsinger79) March 18, 2020
Spirits are high on Azamara Pursuit
With @seas_jr on @AzamaraPursuit where the Captain, his Senior staff and crew are keeping us safe, healthy and comfortable whilst attempting to get us all (100+ British passengers and crew onboard) safely home.
Spot the (Q) flag, we are all healthy and free of infection. pic.twitter.com/GT3FdoNd2N
— Robert Wellman (@robwellman48) March 18, 2020
Video: A message of support from Phil Nuttall
Tui’s smile of support
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
Beautiful little @ESquareHotel is housing and feeding staff for free at the #hotel Eliminating the commute/rental costs immediately improves staff cash flow and limits exposure to the virus via public transport. Plus staff benefit from more rest time. Happy staff = happy guests.
— Esther Bell(e) (@HelloMrsBell) March 18, 2020
Sometimes you have to laugh!
It’s lovely to see customers supporting their local agents
Fantastic idea and some customers are being truely amazing. I have seen stores where they have been bringing in chocolates, hot drinks & even Greggs lunches to keep the teams going!
— Kelly Cookes (@KCookes) March 18, 2020
It’s great to hear such lovely feedback
“Your team have been brilliant and Suzanne helped me earlier with a departure tomorrow, so that’s all re-protected for later in the year and the clients are very happy indeed.
We’ve just got to stick together and we’ll get through this. “#TravelsGoodDeedFeed
— Rachel Greenough (@RachGreenough) March 18, 2020
Now that’s good service
#travelGoodDeeds – was due to go skiing today, that went downhill ! But @britishairways refunded flights, @emeraldstay full credit for next year, @holidayautos refunded car hire – couldn’t have asked for more and they get my support @travelweeklyhttps://t.co/0lU7yDFGrj
— Andrew Monk (@AmonkMonkey) March 18, 2020
Staff are still smiling at Kuoni HQ!
Working around the clock in extraordinary circumstances the @KuoniTravelUK team have been pulling out all the stops to help customers get home from all over the world and amend travel plans and the appreciation is flooding in @travelweekly#kuoni#teamwork#heretohelppic.twitter.com/yjJTaEInLy
— rachel o’reilly (@rorpr) March 18, 2020
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!
From team at Debden Travel: “Brad, if you were here and we did not have to social distance I would give you a big hug!” pic.twitter.com/1x1V7zV1eI
— rachel o’reilly (@rorpr) March 18, 2020
Sometimes all you need is a glass of champagne
So many stories from us @KuoniTravelUK quote today: “when you go in the Kuoni store and the woman offers you a glass of champagne as I obviously look like I am going to have a breakdown, I could not be more thankful. I never knew how grateful I would be for someone’s kindness.”
— rachel o’reilly (@rorpr) March 18, 2020
Customers still say hello despite Liphook Travel Worldchoice’s closed door policy
Good news from Aspen Travel
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
We have received so many lovely treats from clients & also Travel colleagues – thank you so much! It really does lift our spirits & puts a smile on our faces! One of our favourite’s was from some Travel colleagues who gifted the Heroes because we are all Hero’s at the moment! pic.twitter.com/LnFOuEBYig
— Carrick Travel (@CarrickTravel) March 18, 2020
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.
Miles pledges our team’s support to over 70s who are isolating by offering to deliver their shopping and keeping in contact by phone.
— Miles Morgan Travel (@MilesMorganNews) March 16, 2020