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NEWS


HOTLIST


Digital travel pioneer returns to industry with bespoke tour operation, and why Rwanda is a must-visit destination


FORMER TRAVEL REPUBLIC BOSS KANE PIRIE SETS UP VIVID TRAVEL


A new bespoke online tour operator has been set up by the former boss of Travel Republic. Kane Pirie (pictured) is returning to


travel and launches Vivid Travel this month, selling both direct and via luxury travel agents. It has joined Abta and has a full Atol licence. Vivid Travel will sell bespoke


holidays that “combine a number of different phases”, such as safari, beach and city, according to


managing director and founder Pirie, who believes he has spotted a gap in the market. He said: “Our mission is to help people have more interesting


holidays. Currently, people are not getting the most out of the time and money they are investing in their holidays. “We will offer different phases providing unbeatable variety of experience to keep people interested and engaged. Spending the whole time in one beach resort is not the future of holidays.” The website will offer example itineraries, but customers and agents will call to speak to a ‘travel designer’ who will create a bespoke and unique holiday for each client. A dedicated agent phone line and trade section of the site will be available by next month, and Pirie said he would pay agents “great commissions”. Pirie believes Vivid Travel will appeal to people who want more real experiences on holiday, including families and social media enthusiasts. He already has 15 staff at offices in Guildford and Clapham Junction and is actively recruiting another 10 by the end of the year including travel designers and software developers. “We are setting the bar high and only want the very best for


team Vivid,” said Pirie. “Our customers will expect no less.” VIVID.TRAVEL


THREE REASONS RWANDA IS THE HOTTEST DESTINATION RIGHT NOW


1. Luxury hotel openings mean Rwanda now offers multiple options for travellers. One&Only Nyungwe House opens next month and a second property, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, is also on the cards. Meanwhile, Wilderness Safaris has opened six-villa Bisate Lodge (pictured), located next to the Volcanoes National Park. 2. The first direct flight between London and Rwandan capital Kigali launched earlier this year, making it easier than ever to reach the destination. The Gatwick RwandAir route operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and it takes just eight hours and 40 minutes. Plus jetlag isn’t a problem, hurrah! 3. Seeing mountain gorillas remains a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The price of gorilla permits has gone up from $750 to $1,500. This will not only protect the animals and support local communities, but will also ensure it remains a unique experience and not a mass-market product. BOOK IT: Red Savannah offers six nights from £5,995 per person, including two nights at Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge, return flights with RwandAir from Gatwick, visits to Akagera and


Nyungwe national parks, permits and all transport in Rwanda. REDSAVANNAH.COM


aspire september 2017 — 21


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