Argentina Prepares for a Safe Reopening to International Travellers

Argentina is getting ready to reopen!

 

 

Argentina Travel Partners (ATP DMC) look forward to welcoming your guests back to discovering our beautiful Argentina when it becomes safe to travel again.

A complete document has been developed to guide clients through  current works and protocols developed to create a safer and smoother trip experience to Argentina.  It is based on news items and official announcements from the Argentine government

Latest update on July 30 2020

Protocols to resume activities and reopen hotels, restaurants and tour operators are published by the government.

 

For full details and guidance, visit ATP DMC  or email info@atpdmc.com

 

City Heli Tour and lunch in the Tropical Forest of Panama

See the Panama Canal from above, with this helicopter tour over the city.

On this tailored tour you will travel over the City,  flying in a helicopter for 3 or 4 passengers with panoramic windows, discovering the majestic Panama Canal from above.  Marvel over the modern city, its skyscrapers and modern buildings, and the spectacular contrast with the historical area of Panama, its old town and the ruins of Panama Viejo from a privileged point of view in the sky.

Then enjoy a delicious lunch surrounded by the flora and fauna of the country in the Soberania National Park.

In Panama there are more bird species than in all of North America. In addition to migratory birds, there are about 993 endemic species. The Quetzal and the Harpy Eagle are commonly spotted. In the Soberanía National Park, one of the conservation parks of the Panama Canal, there are areas for fishing in Lake Gatún, hiking, bird watching and visits to the Emberá indigenous community. The Chagres River runs through the park, which was established as a national park in 1980. The park covers 55,000 acres.

Enjoy this sky high experience for your next group that visits Panama City!

 

Soberanía National Park Day Visit

If you would like to spend more time in the Park, with or without guide, these visits can also be arranged.

Soberanía National Park protects some 525 species of birds, 105 species of mammals, 80 species of reptiles, and 55 species of amphibians. Bird species include toucans, trogons, motmots, flycatchers, woodpeckers, hawks, and tanagers. Rare species include the crimson-bellied woodpecker, crested eagle, yellow-eared toucanets, sirystes, rofous-ventaul, ground cuckoo, and even the endangered harpy eagle.

Pipeline Road is the top place to spot birds within the park. This trail is best during the early morning hours when the forest begins to awaken. Pipeline Road runs for many miles and passes through both old-growth and secondary forests. Other than birds, hikers may be able to spot capybaras (the world’s largest rodent), two- and three-toed sloths, Geoffroy’s tamarin, and coatimundis.

A mile (1.6 km) in from the entrance to Pipeline Road is the Panama Rainforest Discovery Centre, which boasts a 100-foot (30-m) observation tower. The tower is a fantastic place to spot birds in the morning. Do note, however, that there is an entrance fee.

Visitors to Soberanía can also walk along a section of the historic Las Cruces Trail (Camino de Cruces). The trail dates back to the 16th century, when it was used by the Spanish to transport gold across Panama. Today, the first section of the trail is lined with ancient stones that once marked the historic trail’s path.

 

Note:  Whilst Panama’s borders are currently closed to visitors, Think Mice Panama continues to prepare exciting itineraries ready for your return!  Contact us on reservas2@colon2000.com

 

 

 

UK Entry Guidelines and Travel Updates – as at 26 June 2020

Overview

UK Borders are open, with certain restrictions, but gatherings of more than 30 people are forbidden.  Exhibition and conference centres remain closed, as do theatres and concert halls.  You can move around the country and from 4 July 2020 hotels, hostels, guest houses etc are permitted to open.

 

 

Detailed Guidelines

UK borders are open, but visitors and residents must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. You must also provide your journey and contact details upon arrival.

You may be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details. You may be fined more if you break this rule more than once. You may also be fined up to £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate, or you could face further action.

From 4 July changes to guidelines within the UK apply:

From 4 July, many businesses and venues will be permitted to reopen and will be expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. These include:

  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
  • places of worship
  • libraries
  • community centres
  • restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside
  • hair salons and barbers, including mobile businesses
  • cinemas
  • funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities
  • outdoor gyms and playgrounds
  • museums and galleries
  • bingo halls
  • outdoor skating rinks
  • amusement arcades and other entertainment centres
  • model villages
  • social clubs
  • indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
  • indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks

What will need to remain closed by law?

The following businesses will need to remain closed, as we have assessed that they cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 Secure:

  • nightclubs
  • casinos
  • bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
  • indoor play areas including soft-play
  • spas
  • nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
  • massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • swimming pools and water parks
  • exhibition or conference centres – where they are to be used for exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for that venue.

Getting Together (private gatherings)

you can meet in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household) in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household – you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers

When you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines

It will be against the law to gather in groups larger than 30 people, except for a limited set of circumstances to be set out in law

 

You should not:

  • gather indoors in groups of more than two households (your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than 6 should only take place if everyone is from just two households
  • interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)
  • Gatherings of more than 30 people will be prohibited, apart from some limited circumstances to be set out in law.

Different regulations apply to Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales, and you are advised to check current advice before travelling.

For detailed information and updates (Government Guidelines), refer to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For updates and future group and incentive travel information, email DMC UK on Interopa on mice@interopa.co.uk

Status of Member Countries with Open Borders as at 24 June 2020

Below please find detailed updates from World of DMCs member countries, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain, where borders are open to certain countries and groups/meetings are permitted under certain conditions.

It is strongly recommended that you contact the individual DMCs for further updates and clear advice prior to planning travel.

 

Austria Country Update

Borders opened Mid-June with no quarantine for most European countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Inbound passengers from Spain, Portugal and the UK, and all other countries will be tested on arrival and potentially subject to quarantine.
Many hotels will open on July 1st, but by beginning of July all businesses should be open again.

Masks are not required, except if a 1m distance is not possible. Masks are MANDATORY on public transportation, at the Doctor/hospital and in pharmacies.
Museums are open, with a maximum groups size of 15pax for most.

For further updates for group and incentive travel guidance, contact Imperial Connection johanna.schmikal@imperial-connection.at

 

Czech Republic Country Update

Visitors coming from Sweden, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Portugal and Silesian Voivodeship (southern part of Poland) must present a negative test for Covid-19.
Visitors from all other European countries can visit the Czech Republic without any obligation of test or quarantine

Face masks are still mandatory in enclosed spaces for everybody older than 2 years (for instance in city transportation, trains, shops, theatres, cinemas etc.) until the end of June 2020
Face masks are not compulsory from July 1, but people can take them in case they feel themselves sick or want stay protected

Events with up to 1000 people are allowed from Monday June 22, 2020. Larger events will be separated into groups of 1000.

 

At Maxin PRAGUE we go beyond these measurements in order to fulfil our motto – Details Create Excellence – which changed in these days to Details Create Safety. Therefore, once you organise events with us we create a program within these additional precautions:

– Speeding up entrance of guests, avoiding queues
– Using dedicated areas only for our guests or separating our groups from the rest of the venue by our mobile dome solution – Quickspace
– Booking of rooms of sufficient size
– Disinfection of all rented rooms twice a day
– Non-contact disinfection available throughout the event
– Face-mask for each participant – 2 pcs a day
– Sanitizing gel for each participant
– Mobile in-desk – application for online communication with event manager / hostess and / or guide)
– All documents required for event delivered to guests in e-form

and Last but not least providing flexible payment and cancellation terms in these uncertain times.

For further information on group and incentive travel, contact Maxin PRAGUE jarmila@maxin-prague.cz

 

 

Slovakia Country Update

Slovakia has opened its borders to citizens of 19 countries: the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland with no quarantine requirements.

Trains to Prague currently operate a limited service. Trains to Vienna will start operating in full mode on 15 June 2020.

From 6 June, Slovak Lines buses will run to Vienna, Schwechat Airport, Hainburg Budapest and Ferenc Liszt Airport in Budapest

From 9 June 2020 the following measures apply:

• wearing masks outside is voluntary, the obligation to wear a face mask indoors remains in force
• children’s corners and nightclubs are open
• the two-meter distance between tables in restaurants changes from obligation to recommendation
• Outdoor swimming pools, spas, fitness, and wellness centres may open. Hotels that have these facilities may provide all these services, Indoor swimming pools and sports venues are open as well,
• Accommodation: 24- hour break between use of rooms
•Shopping centres are open, apart from playgrounds.
Meetings set by law, like municipal council meetings, party congresses and shareholders’ meetings, are allowed without any restrictions to the number of participants,
• Masks will be compulsory only inside, during events and when the distance between people is less than 2 meters,
• Indoor and outdoor tourist attractions are opened. Casinos, zoos, and botanical gardens can let visitors in, both interiors and exteriors. Museums, galleries, libraries, exhibition halls, cinemas, theatres are opened
• Taxi drivers are no longer obliged to have a barrier between the driver and clients in their cars. The government also cancelled the 15-minute compulsory break between individual clients. Air conditioning is allowed
• The requirement to close shops on Sundays is still valid but special opening hours for seniors are cancelled. The limit for one customer in a shop has decreased to 10 square meters,
• Competitive sports events are allowed again,
• At cultural events, it will be possible to have a chessboard form of seating instead of having a two-meter distance.
Between individual visitors, at least one seat must be empty. Artists are not required to have a COVID 19 test,
• Mass events from June 10, maximum of 500 persons, from July 1 until the end of the year, maximum of 1,000 people,
• Barbers, beauty salons and hairdressers, solariums, pedicures, and manicures are opened

For further updates for group and incentive travel guidance, contact Supravia Destination Management supravia@supravia.sk

 

Spain Country Update

The State of Emergency in Spain concluded on Sunday 21 June 2020. Residents can now travel again freely within the country without restrictions.

The borders are open for EU and EFTA states, and the UK. For any other country, it’s closed.

In Barcelona and major cities, only 20-30% of hotels are open, more are to open step by step but until September the situation will not be normalised. Hotel chains such as Barceló or Meliá with many properties in each city are opening only one or two in each city. More beach hotels are open, to take advantage of the summer season, as many close during the Winter months.

For further updates for group and incentive travel guidance, contact Ambiance Incentives info@ambiance-incentives.com

A Train Lover’s Dream – in Panama

Imagine a dream destination where you can find the most beautiful beaches and islands of two oceans, the most imposing mountains and jungle, a modern metropolitan city and last but not least, the eighth wonder of the world: the Panama Canal. All this in one place and one amazing destination at your fingertips! In this little paradise you can find the most complete tourist infrastructure in which you will be greeted by locals with a friendly smile.

Live the experience of taking the Inter-oceanic Train bordering the Panama Canal.

The route stretches 47.6 miles (76.6 km) across the Isthmus of Panama from Colón (Atlantic) to Balboa (Pacific, near Panama City), alongside the Panama Canal. You will travel by road to the modern Agua Clara locks of the Panama Canal where you can observe, among other sights, the passage of the PANAMAX ships. From the train’s panoramic windows, see wonderful views of Lake Gatun, the verdant countryside and the huge ships making their way along the canal.
The tour is completed with a visit to the historic city of Portobelo, a world heritage site, which owes its name to Christopher Columbus and which was also a key point on Spanish trade routes during colonization, with an important fortress on the Caribbean Sea.

Enjoy this experience with your next group visiting Panama City, courtesy of www.thinkmicepanama.com !

Future Planning when Crisis Hits

When crisis hits, as it does on a regular basis in different shapes and forms, what steps do you take to ensure business continuity and survival?  In the travel business, and particularly in the meetings, events and incentives travel industry, planning is done well ahead of the date of travel.  Sometimes years ahead of the event.  This makes it all the more heart-breaking, and financially devastating, when events that have been planned and worked on for months or years are cancelled at the last minute due to a world crisis or unforeseen disaster.  There is little that can be done, except advise everyone as soon as possible, cancel what can be cancelled, and hope that suppliers and partners are fair and just when it comes to deposits and refunds.

The next step is to ensure that non-vital associates take whatever holiday is due to them, before looking at redundancies and time off without pay.  Reduction of costs and short-term savings are vital to ensure business continuity, but should not be at the cost of future business, and possibly losing valuable team members.

Review upcoming events, and see if they need to be rescheduled, revised, or cancelled as well.

One area you should absolutely NOT cut back on is forward planning and marketing.  Unlike advertising, which is instant, and invariably expensive, marketing adopts a softly-softly approach and relies on content creation, sharing of information, and ensuring your product or destination remains top-of-mind in your target market.  Hibernate during a crisis at your peril.  Your competitors will move into your space, and into prime position to take advantage of future business potential.  Certainly, your messaging during times of crisis should be respectful and appropriate – maybe even subdued, but you should not disappear from view.

Take this time to review your marketing and promotion activities.  Can you reach people in different ways?  Is there support you can offer, as a business, during the time of crisis?  This is not the time to make a quick dollar, but more to build your community, your visibility and awareness.

Stay positive, stay visible and stay engaged with your community, whether near or far.  Ensure only verified facts are distributed via your marketing and social media channels; and above all, stay professional.

If a trade show has been cancelled, as ITB 2020 has been at the 11th hour, look at different ways of ‘meeting’ with those with whom you had appointments.  Why not schedule a Zoom meeting?  Send them an invitation with a link!  Face to face chats, with document sharing and the ability to make your presentation without even leaving your desk.  This crisis will pass, as every crisis before it has done.  It may change the way we do business, or the steps we take to ensure the health and well-being of future event participants, but use it as a learning experience and see what positives you can take out of it.

Step up your digital marketing and social media presence.  Update your website, work on your database, your online identity, your strategy and messaging…..  look at the enforced ‘down time’ as a blessing, enabling you to complete those desk-bound administrative tasks you never seem to have time for.

During any crisis, your team will be looking to you for guidance and advice.  Make sure you are correctly informed, that you look for the positives, and that you continue to plan for the future.  Build on the lessons learned from this particular crisis, and update your crisis planning and business continuity planning so you are ready for the next downcycle, whenever and however it may hit.

World of DMCs are still planning for IMEX 2020 in May (Frankfurt) – so hopefully we will see you there!

For further information on how to become a member of World of DMCs, to contact any of our members, or for any other information, please email info@world-of-dmcs.com

World of DMCs at IMEX 2019

 

Finnish Lapland – not just for Christmas!

Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, roughly the size of Portugal, a sparsely populated area with around 180,000 inhabitants – and more than 200,000 reindeer!  Lapland is bordered by Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. It’s known for its vast subarctic wilderness, ski resorts and natural phenomena including the midnight sun and the Northern Lights.

 

 

With six airports, a well-maintained road network and accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to quaint hostels and cosy cottages, Lapland is well equipped to host groups and incentives of all sizes, all year round.

 

Where to go

Rovaniemi is the lively capital of Finnish Lapland and embraces two major rivers right on the Arctic Circle. The wilderness of Lapland is a mere ten minutes from the city centre, beckoning adventurers to explore its untouched expanses. The most exciting Arctic Circle crossing is also located in Rovaniemi, as is Santa’s Village, where Lapland’s most famous inhabitant, Father Christmas himself, is on hand to welcome visitors.

 

Snow Restaurant

 

Rovaniemi offers a wide variety of incentive and group travel experiences, catering to events and groups from ten to thousands of participants.

 

Levi is the destination for active travellers, and only 15 min away from Kittilä airport. Levi is a trendy ski resort with a definite Lapland vibe, where everything is close at hand for relaxed fun and entertainment.

 

Saariselkä is the ideal destination for those looking for an authentic and natural experience in Lapland. A good local infrastructure and a nice selection of hotels provides a comfortable base to explore winter at its best. Highlights include breath-taking snowmobile safaris, rides with husky sledges around the beautiful Urho Kekkonen National Park and a visit to an authentic reindeer farm hidden deep in the forest.

 

Local Cuisine

Lapland cuisine is inspired by nature and the pure ingredients it offers; simple, yet full of the fresh flavours of the local produce such as berries, mushrooms and game.

Reindeer is traditionally sautéed and served with lingonberries and mashed potatoes, but the delicacy is also available as ribs, pizzas, burgers, and even sushi!

Soft bread cheese leipäjuusto has been slightly grilled, giving it the distinctive brown marks. The food is also known as ‘’squeaky cheese’’ due to the sound it makes when you chew on it. The cheese is traditionally paired up with cloudberries and served as a dessert, but some also enjoy the cheese in their cup of coffee!

Arctic forests and bogs grow bilberries, cloudberries and bright red lingonberries, which visitors are permitted to pick. Berry picking is popular in Lapland for both young and old, and the best berry patches are usually kept secret!  Unless, of course, you are exploring with the right DMC!! 

Some of the best salmon rivers in Europe and the many lakes make Lapland a fisherman’s paradise. The fish is often cooked slowly near an open fire or by smoking it, which gives the food a strong, hearty aroma.

There is even a ‘native’ potato!  Much like some of the world’s finest cheeses and wines, ‘’Lapin Puikula’’ has the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) label in the European Union, which means that only this specific type of potato, cultivated in Lapland, can carry the name. Enjoy the starchy potatoes as a side with reindeer or fish, or try it as chips!

 

When to visit Lapland

Winter in Lapland means flying down the slopes on skis, trekking Finland’s most iconic mountain with snowshoes, and visiting castles made of snow and ice, but summer also offers exciting adventures.

 

Summer in Lapland, for example, offers the magic of the Midnight Sun.  Lapland is the place to experience round-the-clock light when the sun doesn’t set…. It is also the perfect time to enjoy magnificent flora and fauna, covering over 70% of Finland’s area.  Camping, and Campfires, biking, berry picking, trekking, learning arctic survival skills…..  the list of activities available throughout the year in Finnish Lapland is as endless as your imagination.

 

Your DMC Lapland – Arctic Incentives

Arctic Incentives by Lapland Safaris is specialized in creating and marketing services for MICE groups (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events). We are part of the Lapland Safaris company, which has over 30 years of experience and expertise in business-oriented travel services.

For sample itineraries, visit http://www.arcticincentives.fi/programs/  But for tailor-made programmes to suit your specific group or incentive, contact Arctic Incentives

Email:   sebastien.brosseau@laplandsafaris.fi

Dreaming of Portugal…..

When you think of Portugal, what comes to mind?  Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches?  The Portugal experience can be many things, history, great food and idyllic scenery are just the beginning… For the very best experience tailored to your particular group or incentive, #askadmc (preferably our DMC, Vega DMC Portugal), but hopefully the following information will whet your appetite to find out a little more about MICE travel to this beautiful (and affordable) European destination.

 

 

The way to our heart is through our stomach…..  What to expect from Portuguese Cuisine

Yes, Portugal can offer any cuisine you wish, but why not eat local?  Freshly baked bread, olives, cheese, red wine, chargrilled fish, cataplana (seafood stew), smoked meats – the Portuguese have perfected the art of cooking simple, delicious meals.

Be open to a new experience, and enjoy the richness of Portugal’s bountiful coastline and fertile countryside, rather than insisting on meals that you are familiar with, and can have at home.

 

Get out and about in the countryside

Of course the cities have a lot to offer, but it is the countryside where Portugal’s beauty really unfolds in all its startling variety. Take your group hiking amid the granite peaks of Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês or strolling through the pristine scenery and historic villages of the little-explored Beiras. Walking and talking is great for building relationships and mulling over issues raised in your more formal meetings.

Soak up the sun and relax along more than 800km of coastline, with dramatic end-of-the-world cliffs, surf breaks off dune-covered beaches and sandy islands fronting calm blue seas. You’ll find dolphin watching in the lush Sado Estuary, boating and kayaking along the meandering Rio Guadiana, and memorable walks and bike rides all across the country.  Just #askadmc to plan your exploration.

 

 

Prefer Festivals and Concerts?

Drink, dance and feast your way through all-night established revelries such as Lisbon’s Festa de Santo António or Porto’s Festa de São João. OR your DMC Portugal can create your very own festival, at any time of the year.

 

Location, Location, Location

Lisbon is an average 2-hour flight from all major European cities and a 5 to 8-hour flight from the Americas. Easy to access, and safe, with competitive pricing year-round.

Lisbon is the Capital that combines culture, sea and great food, with a mild, sunny climate year-round and the only European capital located so close to sandy beaches.  Dramatic landscapes, UNESCO monuments, quaint streets and a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.  What more can you wish for?  Lisbon plays host to more than 100 international corporate events annually with spectacular venues for groups and events of all sizes.

 

View over Lisbon

 

In Portugal you will find a little of everything: from traditional venues to spectacularly unusual settings, and an experienced team to cope with any request, or group size. From modern hotels to complexes of entertainment and culture, multimedia rooms, historical monuments, sporting venues, spectacular natural locations…..  surely Portugal should be on your ‘must consider’ list for the next group or incentive trip, team building or corporate training activity?

 

Check out our DMC Portugal  Vega DMC

Explore Georgia with Caucasus Travel DMC

Georgia lies to the east of the Black sea in the south Caucasus. It shares borders with Russia in the north and Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan in the south. One of Europe’s best kept secrets, Georgia is blessed with stunning scenery, a rich variety of flora and fauna, enclosed high valleys, wide plains, health spas, and cave cities.  Come and explore Georgia with Caucasus Travel DMC.

 

Tbilisi at night

Tbilisi Peace Bridge

 

Why Georgia

 

Known for mountains, churches, hiking and history, Georgia’s landscape is dotted with an abundance of medieval fortresses, spectacular Orthodox churches and monasteries, plus warm, welcoming people and a delectable cuisine including one of the world’s oldest wine-making traditions, Georgia is the true essence of a diamond in the rough.

In 2019 Batumi was named Europe’s leading emerging tourist destination at the World Travel Awards, while an incredible eight million tourists visited Georgia in 2018, more than double its population.

 

Tourism Infrastructure

Tourism infrastructure in Georgia is advanced enough to welcome discerning groups and incentives, as well as offering lesser-known towns and regions to explore the unspoilt history and tradition of the region. There are plentiful hotels and accommodations for varying size groups, small families and luxury tourists. Hotels include recognised names such as Radisson Blu, Marriot, and Sheraton, alongside small family hotels, comfortable boutique resorts and guesthouses for travellers seeking traditional Georgian hospitality.

 

Tbilisi

The capital, Tbilisi, stands on the banks of the river Mtkvari, in a valley surrounded by hills. With its warm climate, stone houses built around vine-draped courtyards, winding streets and alleys, the city brims with history and exudes a lively Mediterranean atmosphere.

 

Tbilisi Narikala

Narikala Castle and view over Tbilisi, Georgia

 

Tbilisi has emerged as one of the coolest cities in Europe, with a burgeoning club scene, world-class restaurants and a selection of natural wine bars that easily make it the hippest spot in the region.

 

Batumi

The country’s summer capital is set on the Black Sea coast, resplendent with end of century architecture, fortress and botanical garden.

 

 

Georgian Cuisine

Each part of Georgia has its unique cuisine with its special flavour.

Cafes and restaurants mostly serve the Georgian National dishes and local cuisine as well as European and Mediterranean dishes. Many restaurants offer folk shows, showcasing traditional songs and Georgian folk dances. Traditional cuisine consists of large sharing platters of spicy lamb, beef or chicken stews or khinkali (spicy dumplings filled with meat or potato and steaming broth) fresh salads, smoked cheeses and vegetable dishes such as pkhali (crushed mixed vegetables, aubergine, walnut and garlic paste). The flat, bread-like pie stuffed with molten cheese, should not be missed! Not to mention churchkhela, made from dipping a string of walnuts into a caramel-like grape paste and strung up to dry out – these colourful confections can be seen hanging at stalls all across Georgia.

 

 

Georgian Wine

Wine making is a part of Georgia’s national psyche and, with evidence of the craft dating back 8000 years, it’s not hard to understand why. Georgians are deeply proud to still be using traditional methods to create their vintages: here, the grapes are pressed and the whole lot, including seeds, skin and stems, is transferred to large clay pots called qvevri, and placed underground for several months to ferment. The process results in a more ‘natural’ flavour, and wines with a much deeper colour.

 

Activities

Hiking; trekking; 4×4 adventures; mountaineering; cycling; rafting; kayaking; caving; boating on underground lakes; paragliding; ballooning; bird watching; hunting (photography); fishing; national parks; horse riding…. The country offers it all.

Georgia is a compact and diverse country, with very small distance between completely contrasting landscapes: deserts, sea, subtropics, tea plantations, high mountains etc. Almost everything can be seen within a day or so travelling in a 4×4 vehicle.

 

Georgia Countryside

 

Meetings & Incentives

Tbilisi offers multiple venues for participants of up to 500, with folk music, traditional cuisine, dancing and more. Venues such as Narikhala Castle, Gergeti Monastery and the David Gareji Monastery are also available, together with exciting activities to delight any number of participants.  For a full itinerary and detailed recommendations for group and incentive travel to Georgia, contact Caucasus Travel.

 

About Caucasus Travel

Caucasus Travel has been a leading incoming tour operator specialised in Cultural, adventurous and tailor-made tours for Groups and Independent Travellers to South Caucasus countries: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1991.

Caucasus Travel is a company of choice for more than 200 tour operators, travel agencies, incentive houses, conference organisers and professional associations all over the world. High professionalism of staff, reliability, innovation, perfection of product and high-quality services have always been the basis and guarantee of numerous client’s satisfaction.

 

Caucasus Travel

Discover Poland with DMC Poland

Whilst DMC Poland is on hand to guide, advise and plan any group or incentive travel activity to Poland, the following can serve as an introduction to just a small sample of what this beautiful country has to offer for MICE travel, incentives, corporate retreats, company excursions, group travel and much more.

Krasicki Castle

 

Introduction

Poland is overflowing with energy and blessed with a rich history boasting historic locations, medieval castles and refurbished manors which go hand in hand with modern conference centres, new concert halls and luxurious hotels that spring up every year. The choice of destinations and venues keeps growing: from mountains to sea, from the hustle and bustle of city life to calm rural countryside.

As the 7th largest economy in the EU, Poland has 12 international airports and 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  What more could you ask for, as a group or incentive organiser?

 

Polish Cuisine

Worried about what your group might eat?  No problem.  Poland has everything!

Whilst pickled cucumbers are one of the symbols of Polish cuisine, and the country offers an impressive selection of over 200 varieties of soup, it doesn’t stop there!

Located at the crossroads of historical trade routes between Europe and Asia, Poland’s culinary influences are diverse: spices from the orient, cured meat and sausage from Lithuania, dumplings from Ukraine, desserts influenced by French cuisine – not to mention Poland’s own blend of traditional cuisine.

Poland’s forests offer an abundance of wild game, and are home to sought after honey from well-fed bees.  Salt comes from famous mines, and bread is baked from home-grown wheat and rye.

Culinary adventures begin with some of the most trending gastronomic regions such as Pomerania (Gdańsk) and Silesia (Katowice), and in the cities of Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Warsaw, and Wrocław. In fact, your entire trip could be built around new culinary experiences!

 

Venues

Indoor, outdoor, above ground or below ground – historical or modern….  Venues for events or interesting to visit….. Poland has it all.

 

Castles & Palaces

Preserved or restored, castles and palaces are part of Poland’s historical heritage, found throughout the country, and are full of life, revitalised and re-purposed as museums or education centres; venues for cultural events or outdoor activities; converted to luxury hotels and spas; or resplendent with restaurants.

Moszna Castle

 

Over 500 castles and 2,500 palaces are scattered all over Poland, each with its own back story.  Such as Kórnik Castle where legend has it that every night the castle its 18th-century owner, known as the White Lady, haunts the building which is also famous for its coach house and grounds. Moszna Castle has a total of 99 spires and resembles magical palaces featured in fairy tales and Disney films. Krzyżtopór Castle in Ujazd, which despite its dilapidated state plays host to artillery shows, concerts, dancing classes and staged knights’ battles every few months.

 

Caves & Mines

Poland’s wonders are not only found above ground, but in fabulous caves, mysterious tunnels and multi-storey medieval cellars – with nine cave systems, seventeen mines and tunnels, and countless other underground wonders teeming with life: The river flowing in the Black Trout Adit is alive with fish and the caves in the Ojcow National Park or the tunnels of the Miedzyrzecz Fortified Region are a favourite location for wintering bats.  Events, parties, pop-up restaurants….. everything is possible underground in Poland.

 

Destinations

With so many attractive destinations throughout Poland, with varying climates and local appeal, DMC Poland is best placed to advise the best locations for each individual group and incentive – but here is an overview of some of the more popular cities and their highlights.

Warsaw

The capital of Poland is a city with many faces where tradition mingles with modernity, a meeting place for politicians, economists and artists of all nationalities, and a favourite with visitors.

Warsaw offers a wealth of entertainment options, including theatre, cabaret shows, film festivals and concerts by famous opera soloists, pop stars and classical music performers. Warsaw hosts several music festivals annually, including the International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Autumn, and the Mozart Festival. The scenic Old Town and its Market Square, offering wine cellars and elegant restaurants, St John’s Cathedral, the King’s Castle, and many more historical and cultural delights are fantastic locations to while away the time, or host an event to be remembered.

 

Gdańsk

Gdańsk is as old as Poland itself. Located in the north of the country on the sea coast at the mouth of the Vistula, Gdańsk was the Polish gateway to the sea. Also known as the Capital of Amber, often referred to as “Polish gold,” amber is the oldest and most precious export product from the Baltic Coast.

Gdansk

 

Wrocław

Wrocław is one of the most visited Polish cities, full of monuments and thousands of years of history. Magnificent manor houses, churches, the university and a whole gamut of Nobel Prize winners are all witnesses of the town’s past and present splendour.

 

Lublin

Lublin is the largest city east of the Vistula River, just 100 miles away from Poland’s capital, known as the “gate to the East” and is an important educational and scientific centre.

 

Opole

Opole has preserved its historical urban layout which originated from the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries and is referred to as the Silesian chessboard. The National Festival of Polish Song has been held here annually since 1963 and each year new events, fairs, shows and competitions are added to the city’s events calendar.   The city’s famous Amphitheatre, designed by local architect Florian Jesionowski, accommodates an audience of 5640 with each of the 42 rows of benches being 280 metres in length.

 

Outdoor Pursuits

From skiing and snowboarding in the mountains to kayaking on more than 10,000 paddle-friendly lakes, Poland is a dream for outdoor activities – whether individuals, groups or for incentive travel programmes.

 

Skiing/Snowboarding

In the south of the country are several dozen resorts for winter sports with the better-known ski slopes in Zakopane; or the longest in the Tatry leading from the mountain revered by Polish skiers – Kasprowy Peak, to the Gąsienicowa Meadow – which is over 7 km long.

 

Winter in Poland

 

Kayaking

Poland has a dense network of waterways, ideal for kayaking excursions, with about 150 mapped routes along rivers and through wonderful, twisting lakes.

 

Kayaking – River Drweca

 

Cycling

Newly-built cycling lanes in cities, forests, along river bank trails, and challenging mountain trails, attract thousands of bikers every year. Recent investments in biking infrastructure have made Poland a perfect destination for individuals, leisure groups and serious cyclists alike.  Cycling can be built into a group trip as a complete travel experience, or half day activity.

 

Narrow Gauge Rail Trails

Poland has an abundance of narrow-gauge railways criss-crossing the country – an unusual and highly appealing way to explore this beautiful country.  The famous narrow-gauge Bieszczady Forest Railway runs through mountainous terrain, or for the more active, the Bieszczady Bicycle Trolley runs from Zagórz to Krościenko – 47 km of Poland’s most stunning railway route on a bicycle trolley propelled by your own power! The collection of renovated narrow-gauge rolling stock scattered across Poland is one of the largest in Europe, and offers endless opportunities for groups and incentives to explore the countryside in a unique style.

Krakow