It’s only March and our editors have already been trotting around the globe on numerous press trips—from the French Alps to Puerto Vallarta—getting a first-hand look at the destinations, cruise lines, tour products, and hotels that should be on everyone’s radar. In fact, after this issue is off to the printers, I’m headed to Club Med Punta Cana to try out the resort’s new L’Occitane Spa, the only one of its kind in the D.R.
I bring this up not to tell you that our calendar is full, but because I think one of the most important duties for us as travel trade magazine editors is to get a first-hand look at the destinations, hotels, resorts, etc., we feature in the magazine. Not only do we see for ourselves whether the place is all it’s cracked up to be, but we come back from the trip armed with a list of details that we would not have garnered solely from interviewing a GM or director of marketing over the phone. The devil is in the details, after all: Are the rooms truly spacious? Is the hotel family friendly? Is it best to go in the spring or fall? Is a so-called unique experience really all that exceptional? Who is the target clientele?
That last question was on our publisher’s mind when she visited the new Tower accommodations and tested out the first-ever ELLE Spa at Miami Beach’s Eden Roc last summer. You can read up on all the specifics as to why Eden Roc is perfectly suited for a girlfriends’ getaway on page 78.
While Lorri Robbins was basking in the sun on Miami Beach, Sergio Ortiz, our Asia/South Pacific editor, was cruising in Alaska with newly renamed Un-Cruise Adventures. “What separates Un-Cruise Adventures from other lines specializing in exploring the Inside Passage is the quality of its crews and the highly personalized service that is rapidly becoming its trademark,” writes Sergio on page 20. If seeing Alaska by sea is not quite your client’s thing, then flip over to page 22, where you’ll get your fill of all the goings-on in this vast state, from new accommodations and tours to celebrations not to be missed. According to Lorene Palmer,director of economic development for Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, “No matter what time of year someone visits, there most likely will be something to celebrate in 2013.”
Best part? Alaska is just the tip of the proverbial tourism iceberg, because destinations around the globe are truly “rocking”—check out the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago onsite (page 26). Everywhere you look there are new products, fab must-do’s and off-the-beaten-path destinations begging to be explored: kayaking in Croatia (page 95); a visit to Kyushu in Japan (page 80).
mexico destination weddings & honeymoon planner
It’s no secret that destination weddings are big business and according to The Knot Market Intelligence 2012 Destination Weddings Study, Mexico is number two out of the top five international wedding destinations. On page 27, the Mexico Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Planner, which we created in conjunction with the Mexico Tourism Board, has a wealth of information on this niche market, from top hotel and wedding planner recommendations, to what to see and do in the country’s wedding hotspots.
Visit the newly revamped edu.recommend.com with new offerings:
• Falkland Islands specialist course, FIXpert—Falkland Islands Xpert
• Updated Costa Rica Specialist Program 2—Sustainable Tourism, with new hotel listings
• Updated St. Vincent and the Grenadines Specialist Program
online photo essays
We love to capture first-hand experiences through our camera lens. Recommend’s Eye on the World photo essays, available on recommend.com, convey what we sometimes just can’t translate into words. Visit recommend.com, click on “departments” and click on “Eye on the World,” where our editors have captured destinations around the world through the photographic lens: Cuba, India, New York, the French Alps…
let’s get social
Hang out with us @Recommendmag and facebook.com/recommendmag. And if you want to see what our editors are up to away from the office, follow them @Paloma_RecMag, @EdWetschler, & @LaneMN.—Paloma Villaverde de Rico