Universal Orlando opens its first ‘value’ category property Universal Orlando Resort’s first ‘value’ category hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, is now open. The 750- room property is the seventh on-site hotel and features two-bedroom suites, a casual dining cafe and a pool. Guests will be entitled to early park admission and can charge purchases to their room key. A two-bedroom suite starts from $111 per night for a seven-night stay.

Parc Astérix unveils animated character dining experience

Parc Astérix is extending its opening hours and introducing a new character dining experience. The attraction will remain open until 10pm this summer and guests can view a new light show, Le Ciel vous Tombe sur la Tête! (The Sky is Falling on your Head!). The Gallic Banquet costs from €39 per adult and €18 per child and must be booked in advance. Agents can book via specialists such as Attraction World and 365Tickets. Interhome’s new Swisspeak

property is third in portfolio Bookings are now open for the third Swisspeak resort in Meiringen, Switzerland, via the Interhome Partner Portal. The property, due to open in December, will comprise 79 holiday apartments totalling 426 beds. All Swisspeak resorts booked with Interhome are fully commissionable. Interhome also announced it would operate its first fam trips for UK agents to the destination in 2020.

Puerto Rico to drive engagement with UK trade and consumers

Puerto Rico tourism chiefs are targeting direct air services from the UK and planning to increase engagement with the trade including training and fam trips, starting this autumn. Te Caribbean island, a US

territory, previously had a direct Norwegian service from the UK – its sixth-largest market – but connections are now solely via US gateways. Last year, it created a

standalone destination marketing organisation, Discover Puerto Rico, to boost inbound travel. Leah Chandler, chief

marketing officer, said the UK had been identified as a key target market as the island celebrates its recovery and revamped product since hurricane Maria in 2017. She said: “We see a lot of

potential in the UK market and are working to engage consumers and the trade. A big component will be education and there is no substitute for bringing people to see Puerto Rico for themselves.” A fam trip programme for

agents and tour operator staff is likely to run in the island’s shoulder seasons of September to November and in late spring. Puerto Rico is to host the

WTC Summit in April.

24 11 JULY 2019

Orangutans in Borneo

Borneo operators push island in wake of Judi Dench shows

Samantha Mayling

Escorted tour operators have been promoting wildlife holidays to Borneo, prompted by the popularity of Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure documentary series on ITV. Screened over two episodes on July 2 and July 9, the

programme featured Dame Judi encountering animals including orangutans, elephants, bats and crocodiles, and learning about conservation efforts. Kuoni has a £500 per couple saving on its nine-night

Wildlife of Borneo escorted small-group tour, departing on April 10, 2020. It costs from £2,585 based on two adults sharing

and includes a mixed meal plan, return flights from Heathrow to Kota Kinabalu and group transfers. Te tour visits the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Kinabalu National Park and the Sukau rainforest.

Titan Travel has a 13-day Wild Borneo holiday

from £2,599, which includes flights and 14 excursions, including to Kinabalu National Park and city tours of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. It expects the trade to receive more enquiries about

Borneo and has created posters for agents to share online or download for window displays. Exodus Travels’ Borneo Wildlife Discoverer costs

from £3,799 for 17 days, including flights. It visits Mount Kinabalu, Danum Valley, the Sepilok orangutan centre and the historic port town of Sandakan. Wendy Wu Tours has a 16-day Best of Borneo

tour, from £3,990, which includes flights, and visits to Kuching, Bako National Park, an Iban longhouse, Semenggoh Nature Reserve and Sepilok orangutan centre. Shearings has a 12-day Borneo Wilderness package from £1,648 including flights, based on two sharing.

PICTURE: Shutterstock

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