November 11, 2010

Traditional Travel Agents Gaining Market Share

A recent article on Bloomberg highlighted an increase in the amount of consumers turning to traditional travel agents instead of using solely web-based operators. This trend is becoming more common in a highly unpredictable year that has seen everything from airplane strikes to volcanic ash clouds impacting on travel arrangements.

In the article Thomas Cook Group Plc CEO Manny Fontenla-Novoa said that traditional travel agents are regaining market share from web-based operators in some markets, as a result of consumers becoming more cautious.

“People are much more cautious about how they spend their money,” said Fontenla-Novoa. Consumers are “more confident of making the right decision if they go to the high street,” he said, referring to agents operating in the UK’s city centres.

“The flight towards trusted brands is marked and has been building and building over the past years,” Fontenla-Novoa said.


BA Now Offers Online Boarding

Not only can customers travelling on British Airways check in online, they can now print their boarding pass 24 hours before departure as well. This online boarding service is available on flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Heathrow and on domestic routes, excluding flights to and from Durban.

Information courtesy Travel News Weekly 17-11-2010

November 10, 2010

Make A Difference - Commit To Responsible Tourism

Today, 10 November, is WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. In association with the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation), it is the only global campaign that aims to inspire and educate the travel industry to work together to save the planet.

Responsible tourism has become more and more popular lately as environmental and sustainability concerns become increasingly worrying. Responsible Tourism can be understood as a type of tourism that “creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit” (The 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism).

From buying local and supporting community projects, to planting trees and drinking tap water, everyone can make a difference in encouraging, supporting and practising responsible tourism.

Cape Town Tourism has been at the forefront of responsible tourism practises in South Africa and has developed a Responsible Tourism Pledge with suggestions on how you can make a difference. Let’s position South Africa as a responsible tourism destination and ensure that our beautiful country stays this way!

For more information on World Responsible Tourism Day visit www.wtmwrtd.com

November 5, 2010

Earn Great Rewards With Etihad Airways

Join Etihad Airways’ award-winning loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, and start redeeming great rewards today! As a new member, they will reward you with an enrolment bonus of 500 miles, which you can start redeeming on flights and a range of other rewards almost instantly.

Enrolling online is free and takes only a few minutes. What’s more, you can even claim miles on any flights that you have taken up to 3 months prior to joining the programme.

As an Etihad Guest Member you will receive regular updates on their services and be the first to know of any promotional fares across their network.

Visit http://twurl.nl/3pyhfs for more information.

November 1, 2010

24 Hour Tube Strikes In London - Starts Tuesday 02nd November

There will be a 24 hour strike on all London Underground services from Tuesday 02nd November. The 24 hour walk out by station staff and tube drivers is due to start at 19:00 Local Time on Tuesday until 21:00 on Wednesday the 3rd November.

This will affect services to and from London Heathrow airport, some lines will have a restricted service and some stations will be closed. Customers are advised to check the Transport for London website for further information and to leave plenty of time to travel to the airport.

Further strikes are planned for 28 November 2010.

October 29, 2010

Sure Giltedge Travel Wins Amadeus Award

Congratulations to Sure Giltedge Travel for winning the Amadeus award for the agency with the highest growth for 2010. With branches in Tokai, Century City and Paarl, the vision, commitment and hard work of Sure Giltedge have clearly paid off during what was a challenging year for the travel industry. Well done!

October 28, 2010

Starbucks now onboard Allure of the Seas

Hmmm… wake up and enjoy your favourite coffee while cruising the high seas! Not only is Royal Caribbean International’s new Allure of the Seas the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, she will also have the first ever Starbucks at sea.

From December 2010, guests onboard Allure of the Seas can enjoy Starbucks’ signature and seasonal beverages along with breakfast items, pastries and those sweet afternoon treats you love. Starbucks is positioned on the bustling Royal Promenade and will be open between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily.

Allure of the Seas will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

October 12, 2010

UK Immigration Border Post Delays

Travellers in the UK are advised to check in early and set aside time for delays on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th October 2010, due to a trade union strike.

One of UK Borders Agency’s trade unions, PCS (Public and Commercial Services), have called for a 48 hour strike on the 13th and 14th October. The proposed action will start at 00h01 Local Time on Wednesday 13th October and finish at 23h59 Local Time on Thursday 14th October. It is anticipated that 60-70% of the workforce will not show for work. The strike action could result in delays at immigration at all UK Border Posts, including airports.

Travellers are advised to set aside time for possible delays.

Air And Rail Travel Disruption Expected In France

Industrial action is expected to cause disruption to air and rail travel in France from 12 October.

As a result of the general strike, the French Civil Aviation Authorities have limited the number of flights for all airlines.

Passengers are advised to check their flight status before travelling to the airport. Please contact your Sure Travel agent for further advice and information.

October 6, 2010

Mango Takes Over SAA’s Durban To Cape Town Route

Low-cost airline Mango is expanding its influence on the domestic route by taking over the Durban to Cape Town flights from South African Airways. SAA will stop all its flights between Durban and Cape Town.

According to an agreement with Mango, SAA passengers will still earn Voyager Miles and receive other benefits – such as in-flight meals – on these flights.

SAA spokesperson Fani Zulu said that traffic between the two coastal cities is largely limited to tourists and is very price sensitive. It makes sense for SAA to leave the route to Mango, which can compete with other low-cost carriers. SAA CEO Siza Mzimela said that by using Mango more efficiently, the SAA planes are available for the more profitable African routes. Mzimela added that SAA does not plan on withdrawing from the local market.

September 23, 2010

Local Is Lekker - The Best Long Weekend Breaks!




Don’t have plans yet for this Heritage Day long weekend? What better way to celebrate our cultural heritage and diversity than a holiday in some of our country’s most beautiful areas? This is our pick of some of the best local spots for you to celebrate our nation’s diversity.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Little Karoo
Nestled at the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains in the heart of the Little Karoo, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a tribute to the spirit of the San people that once roamed this area. The reserve is home to indigenous flora and fauna, rock formations and art and the only free- roaming white lions in the world. Only a 3.5 hour drive from Cape Town, Sanbona offers guests a unique cultural experience, luxurious accommodation and a variety of wildlife in their natural surroundings.

The Pepper Club - Cape Town
If you are looking for luxury and sophistication in a vibrant, urban setting then look no further than Cape Town’s Pepper Club Luxury Hotel and Spa. Superbly located in Cape Town’s cosmopolitan city centre, Pepper Club offers the ultimate 5-star experience. From opulent interiors to an intimate private cinema and its very own beach club restaurant and cocktail bar at Camps Bay, Pepper Club is the last word in luxury. Awarded “Best Luxury Hotel in South Africa” by CNN Traveller, Pepper Club is without a doubt the place to see and be seen.

Alpine Heath Resort - KwaZulu Natal
If it’s nature and relaxation you are after, then Alpine Heath Resort tucked in the majestic Northern Drakensberg is where you want to be. Offering superb self catering accommodation, as well as several good dining options and numerous exciting outdoor and leisure activities, the resort is a great getaway for all. Apine Heath is a place to rest the senses, appreciate the outdoors and bask in the serenity of this haven of peace.

Mosaic Farm - Hermanus
What better time to visit the whale watching paradise of Hermanus, than during the annual Whale Watching Festival from the 23rd to the 26th September? Mosaic Farm is a sanctuary on the Hermanus Lagoon. Surrounded by Walker Bay Beach and the Overberg Mountains, Mosaic perfectly blends the glories of nature with country luxury while you take in the spectacular sight of the world’s gentle giants so close to our shores.

Madikwe River Lodge - North West
Discover the mystery of the acacia bushveld, enjoy a myriad of birdlife and experience the thrill of observing the majestic “Big Five” in their natural habitat. Surrounded by 75 000 hectares of malaria-free African sand veld, Madikwe River Lodge is ideally positioned on the Groot Marico River in the heart of the North West. This luxury lodge will get you back in touch with nature, calming and restoring the soul.

Whatever kind of holiday you are looking for, be it a bush retreat or urban luxury, our spectacular country has something for everyone. For information on these fantastic packages, and many more, visit www.suretravel.co.za

September 21, 2010

Sure M.K. Bobby Naidoo Travel Wins Customer Service Award!

Congratulations to Sure M.K. Bobby Naidoo Travel who have been recognised for their outstanding customer service by the Durban community.

The ‘Your Choice Awards’, run by Independent Newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal, are based on the results of a public survey on which businesses in the Durban area exceed customer needs and expectations.

Sure Travel CEO, Vanya Lessing, extends her congratulations to the agency and encourages those involved to maintain the high standard of work and service. Well done Sure M.K. Bobby Naidoo Travel!

September 2, 2010

One&Only Maldives



Crystal blue ocean. Luminous turquoise bays. Endless white sand beaches. Private villas secluded by lush tropical greenery. If there is anywhere in the world that spells unprecedented style, luxury and exclusivity it is One&Only Reethi Rah in the
Maldives.

One&Only resorts are synonymous with five star luxury, idyllic locations, and the discreet privacy favoured by the rich and famous. But One&Only Reethi Rah far exceeds even the wildest expectations.

Top Billing’s Lyndall travels to the Maldives tonight to explore this piece of heaven on earth. To find out how you too can experience the good life visit www.suretravel.co.za for more information.

August 19, 2010

Magical Mozambique – An African Island Refuge

If you want to escape the last of the winter chills and get a head start on your summer tan, then this trip to magical Mozambique is just what you are looking for! Less than a 3 hour flight from Johannesburg, Mozambique is the perfect island refuge - offering you balmy, tropical weather, warm azure sea and peaceful sunkissed beaches.

Marlin Lodge, situated on the south western shore of Benguerua Island, is a luxurious private island lodge offering the most gorgeous accommodation, delicious food, blissful spa treatments and explorations of Mozambique’s diverse ecological wonders, on land and in the water. You won’t find a more perfect African island refuge.

So shake off the winter cobwebs and indulge in some island luxury, just in time to rejuvenate you for summer!

For more information visit www.suretravel.co.za and watch Top Billing tonight on SABC3 as Aidan explores magical Marlin Lodge.

Are Travel Brochures Still Relevant?

"Are Travel Brochures Still Relevant?" - was the title of an article by that excellent travel information portal www.travelwires.com. This is really a significant question and one we constantly challenge.

The author of the article offers a personal opinion, saying that "…In fact, brochures are the only marketing technique in recent years that has sold me on booking some of my travels through external sources". Since we are still producing printed brochures we are heartened by the opinion above.

Clearly with the availability of information readily available out there via digital sources, for free, the cost factor is the only real detractor - it is much cheaper to distribute information digitally than in print.

The main question for us is: Is the format of a typical travel brochure still hitting the spot? Should it be glossier with more images or should there be more information to read about a destination/package?

What do you think?

August 17, 2010

Update – BAA Strikes Called Off

Travellers can breathe a sigh of relief as the proposed strike by BAA employees has been called off. After talks yesterday, an agreement was reached between BAA and the Unite union regarding a new pay deal.

Unions will be recommending their members vote to accept the proposed settlement. Details of the pay agreement will be made public once staff have been advised of the new offer.

The planned strike would have spelt disaster for passengers moving through BAA’s 6 airports and has renewed calls to break up BAA’s monopoly of UK airports.

August 16, 2010

BAA Staff Vote To Strike

British Airports Authority employees, members of the Unite Union, have delivered a “substantial” vote to strike in a dispute over a pay offer. 74% of the BAA's staff who took part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action.

Should the strike go ahead, firefighters, security staff, engineers and support staff will force BAA to shut down the six airports it operates, affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers moving through Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Unite national officer for civil aviation, Brian Boyd, said that “A pay offer of 1% plus the withdrawal of two payments worth over £1 000 is simply confrontational.”

Unite will be meeting with its representatives today to decide details of the strike action.

Courtesy TIR News & eTNW


August 6, 2010

15 On Orange Finalist In Best Of SA Awards

The African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel is one of only five finalists in the running for House and Leisure magazine’s 2010 Best of SA (hotel) awards. It is the only Cape Town hotel that made the cut.

The magazine’s awards celebrate the best hotel, spa, lodge and restaurant in the country as voted for by House and Leisure readers.

It is no surprise that this icon of style, in the heart of the Mother City, is so popular. The hotel’s contemporary architecture and design create a chic, urban space that is redefining the 5 star luxury hotel market in South Africa.

August 3, 2010

Travel With Your Furry Best Friend

Anyone who owns a pet knows the joy that their furry friend brings to their life. Recent studies have proven what pet owners have felt all along - that owning a pet considerably decreases stress levels, while simultaneously increasing happiness levels.

Considering the close relationship between owner and pet, it is no surprise that many people would love to take their pets on holiday with them. “Unfortunately, many vacation destinations are not designed for accommodating pets, and will therefore often reject the notion,” says Vanya Lessing, CEO of Sure Travel. “However, Sure Travel understands the importance that travellers place on being able to take their furry companions with them on holiday, and as such, has thoroughly examined local options”.

Fortunately South African destinations are becoming increasingly pet-friendly, with many establishments in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo now offering pet-friendly accommodation.

August 2, 2010

Protect Your Luggage Today!

Are you constantly worried that your luggage is going to get tampered with when you fly, both locally and internationally? Well Sure Travel has the solution to your problem, making luggage worries a thing of the past.

Sure Travel agencies nationwide are now selling Bbagzz, a nifty luggage security solution that completely encloses your suitcase, including all locks and zips. Each Bbagzz enclosure has its own unique identification number, offering additional insurance cover for your luggage for that particular flight.

The cover insures items either lost due to pilfering or ruined by damage for up to R 1 000 per item. Delayed luggage is also covered up to R1 000 per item, while R5 000 coverage is proved for total loss of luggage, with a R250 excess.

Every time a Bbagzz enclosure is used the insurance needs to be activated through SMS, using the unique code found on each bag. Standard SMS rates do apply when doing so, but free SMSes are also accepted.

Sure Travel CEO Vanya Lessing says that Bbagzz “will decrease the prospects of criminals attempting to steal luggage, eliminates the possibility of items going missing, and dramatically reduces the risk of pilferage and tampering whilst in transit. The unique Sure Travel branded packaging also results in luggage being more easily identifiable on the carousel. Any form of tampering, whether it is the removal or insertion of items, will immediately be evident when collecting your luggage,” says Lessing.


Miss Deaf SA Does Our Country Proud

Miss Deaf SA, Vicki Fourie, has done our country proud by being crowned 1st Princess in the Miss Deaf International Pageant 2010, held in Las Vegas last month. Sure Travel and its Bloemfontein agent threw their support behind Fourie, sponsoring her trip to the USA.

Before leaving for the USA, Fourie said in an article on Travelwires that “All the sponsorships I receive are greatly appreciated, and Sure Travel’s support makes me feel secure in the knowledge that I will arrive at the pageant in safety and in comfort. Their wholehearted support is certainly a major boost in my attempt to win the title for South Africa.” Fourie certainly flew the South African flag high, coming second place in the highly acclaimed, international pageant.

Sure Travel CEO Vanya Lessing commented that Sure Travel is determined to extend it’s parameters as a travel company by committing itself to worthwhile social causes such as those involving the deaf community.

Travel Alert: Bangladesh - Dhaka

Following an industrial dispute over minimum wage levels in the readymade garments sector, violent demonstrations were held in Dhaka, including Gulshan, Tejgaon and Ashulia.
Further violent demonstrations are likely between now and the beginning of Ramadan (12 or 13 August).
Travellers are strongly advised to avoid all large gatherings, and remain particularly vigilant around industrial areas.
Report Courtesy UK FCO

July 28, 2010

Travel Slow And Like A Local

There has been a shift in the mind-set of travellers globally with current travel trends showing that slow travel, as it has been termed, is becoming more and more popular. Travel trends show that rather than focusing on multiple destination experiences, travellers prefer to fully explore a destination at their own pace, immersing themselves in the local life and culture.
An article on the South African tourism website, entitled “Slow Travel Gains Favour” describes how the stress of modern travel has meant that more and more travellers are wishing to travel slowly, experiencing the destination as a local would.
Slow travel certainly doesn’t imply a holiday that’s slow-paced and unexciting. It’s about getting the feel of a place, and wanting to experience an area rather than just visit it. These trips often focus on less familiar destinations and off-the-beaten-track experiences and offer frequent opportunities to interact with the local communities.
So next time you’re planning your holiday, take care not to jam pack the itinerary full of activities. Take your time, travel as much like a local as possible and chances are you will leave with more enjoyable and rewarding memories than you thought possible.

July 21, 2010

Use Accredited Operators

In an article on TravelMole, titled "More failures to come, warn travel experts-20 July, 2010", the author discusses the failure of prominent, UK, travel operator Goldtrail's failure.

With a shrinking outbound market the article goes on to warn customers of the merits of dealing with properly accredited operators to protect against any such sudden failure of the business.

July 20, 2010

Travel Alert: France - Air Traffic Controllers Strike

Significant disruption of French airspace is expected from 19 - 22 July, due to industrial action by air traffic controllers.
A strike by French air traffic controllers is disrupting flights into and out of France.
France's civil aviation authority has asked airlines to cancel 20 per cent of flights at Charles de Gaulle airport and 50 per cent at Orly airport on Wednesday 21 July.
The industrial action is expected to end at 0700 (CET) on Thursday 22 July.
Travellers are advised to contact their airline companies for specific information.
Report Courtesy UK FCO

July 13, 2010

Welcome To The Sure Travel Blog: A Bit About Us

Company Info

Formed in 1979, SURE TRAVEL has grown steadily to become Southern Africa's largest independent single travel agency brand:

  • Currently 106 offices
  • 13% of the Southern African travel market
  • Turnover in 2008 in excess of R2.0 billion

The Sure Travel brand has grown from strength to strength. Our Sure Travel agencies offer a one stop shop, arranging for you: airfares, visas, accommodation, holiday packages, car hire, cruises, escorted tours and so much more…

To locate your nearest Sure Travel agency call:
0861 47 48 49 (from a Gauteng land line)
0861 67 68 69 (from the rest of South Africa)

Big Enough to Give You the Best Deals - Small Enough to Care

SURE TRAVEL agencies are all independent owner-managed businesses - we are not a large, faceless corporation. Our owners are passionate about travel and about providing superior customer service. You're dealing with people who are travel enthusiasts and who have a real interest in your business - not people for whom this is just another job.
And because it's their own business, you will find that SURE TRAVEL agents are really interested in getting and keeping yours - we're not only interested in multi-million rand travel accounts.

SURE TRAVEL's Unique Strengths

SURE TRAVEL has the largest agency network of any travel agency brand in Southern Africa. We are conveniently positioned throughout the region to service your needs. SURE TRAVEL through its sheer size and centralised buying power has been able to secure a range of specially negotiated rates, ensuring that you get the most competitive prices and fares in the market - corporate or leisure, local or international.Working smarter - Industry-leading travel technology solutions and tools give SURE TRAVEL agents the ability to provide even higher levels of productivity and customer service delivery. South African, and proud of it - SURE TRAVEL has its roots in this country, our business model is home-grown and our ownership is South African. We have a thorough understanding of the local marketplace and an in-depth knowledge of the Southern African travel industry - we do not import foreign philosophies and systems not suited to the local market.