Experts Guide to… offbeat honeymoons

Experts Guide to… offbeat honeymoons
By admin


ASK THE EXPERTS

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LIsa Watt of I Do Travel asks:

My best friend is getting married and she has asked me to help plan the honeymoon! I want to give her some ideas that will blow her mind. I'm aware of all the usual places like Tahiti, Fiji and Thailand, but I wanted to offer a couple of unusual options. Do you have any bright ideas?

Dan's answer:

That's sounds like a pretty fair challenge you've been set Lisa. Judging by the nature of your email I'm going to assume that the usual honeymoon haunts are off the menu. To me, two options stand out. They both involve wildlife and they both fall into the experience of a lifetime category.

A safari honeymoon is a slightly offbeat option. But it's perfect because it combines the day-to-day thrill of tracking big game, while also staying at ultra luxurious properties, with a swag of five-star lodges to be chosen from across Botswana, Kenya and South Africa. Spa treatments, gourmet dining, fine wines, sundowners, private villas and even butler service are all par for the course. The likes of Bench International would be able to source many incredible experiences and properties for you.

Even more out there is a trip to Antarctica. A true once in a lifetime experience, a visit to this vast frozen expanse will provide your friends with a honeymoon they'll never forget.

If the excitement of setting foot on the world's least visited continent isn't enough, then there's the enduring romance of emperor penguins who mate for life and face some perishingly cold conditions in their quest to raise their young. Plus, there's the spellbinding beauty of icebergs, awe-inspiring whale encounters and a true sense of engagement with the environment. Sure, it might not offer all the luxuries of a resort in Tahiti – although Orion Expedition Cruises keeps its guests very comfortable indeed – but your friends will have enjoyed one of the most spectacular honeymoon locations around the world.

Madeline Pritchard of Get In Travel asks:

I have seen a lot of advertising relating to the employment of people with a disability and I would love to do something like that in our agency. I think it would be really uplifting for our staff and for the local area. Do you have any advice on this subject? I understand that there are both commercial and social benefits to be gained, but I'm unsure of what they are exactly.

Adriana's answer:

Hiring people with a disability is a great idea as it not only helps businesses to embrace their corporate social responsibilities but studies have shown that it also promotes a diverse workplace and raises team morale.

Employing individuals with a disability can also have long-term fiscal benefits for the employer. According to recent reports, employees with a disability have much lower rates of absenteeism, record a lower number of workplace injuries and also tend to be more loyal and committed to their employer, recording higher retention rates than employees without a disability. This in turn reduces the costs of recruiting, training and integrating new staff into the business.

There are very reputable charities such as Disability WORKS Australia (www.dwa.org.au) who not only facilitate the provision of employment for people with a disability but also can advise you more comprehensively on all the key financial and social benefits.

James De Tayles of Up and About Travel asks:

Following on from the question asked by Elizabeth Creepin on building a website in the previous issue of Travel Weekly, I'd like to look into the benefits of social media and how we can use it to our advantage. We don't really have the time to go crazy with it. So the question we have regards the merits of Facebook and Twitter and which would be a more effective marketing platform for us.

Georgia's answer:

Using social media effectively does take time so it is a good idea to have a think about what you want to achieve before jumping in.

Being clear about what you want will help you decide on the best platform to use. Consumers use Facebook and Twitter differently so you should have a tailored strategy to ensure you are engaging your audience appropriately through each channel. If you are time poor, it is a good idea to focus on one and do it effectively, and it is important to make sure you post content that will be useful and interesting to your friends and followers.

Twitter has become a news feed for many of its users. It is very text focused and people use it to get quick updates on what is going on with the people and organisations they are interested in. It is an exceptional tool if you want to broadcast information about your organisation. If you have good content that people want to retweet, you can reach huge audiences.

However, for a travel agency, staying in touch with your network of past and potential clients and building a close community to engage with regularly is probably more important and realistic than sharing regular insights and news.

Facebook lends itself well to this because people spend longer on the site, it is a visual platform and consumers do use it to stay in touch and engage with the friends and organisations they like. Being able to advertise on Facebook is also an advantage because you can build your audience with some targeted marketing.

Once you have your audience, keep them engaged by offering them benefits and exclusive deals, sending them inspirational images to start them thinking about their next holiday and encouraging them to share their holiday experiences on your page when they return.

With a bit of thought, Facebook could also be a great way to drive group bookings by offering special discounts to your Facebook community to share with their friends.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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