With 2018 drawing to a close, Travel Agent has looked back and rounded up the 10 most-read stories from our website. Here's what created the most buzz in the travel industry this past year:
Travel Agent's Paris correspondent Richard Nahem gave everyone the lowdown on his favorite places in the City of Light to grab steak frites—"the most classic of all French dishes." His top picks included Le Relais de Entrecote, Café de la Musee, Chez Josephine and Paul Bert. The selection, according to Nahem, offers a variety of takes on the Parisian staple.
At Le Relais de Entrecote, guests can enjoy a simple take on the dish: A fresh green salad with classic vinaigrette dressing, sliced steak with a Bearnaise-like sauce and fries. Café de la Musee, one of the most popular bistros in the Marais district, is known for its "authentic, no-nonsense French dishes." Chez Josephine takes the dish up a notch, serving it as part of its special five- course Wagyu beef tasting menu. Lastly, Paul Bert, consistently rated one of the best bistros in Paris, elevates its steak frites with a sumptuous cream sauce.
Whether you're looking to travel to Greece, Budapest, Prague, the Algarve in Portugal, Turkey or even simply a river cruise line, here are some of the best tour operators in Europe for singles. Some of the picks? Friendship Travel offers house party-style beach holidays in Greece and Majorca; One Traveller, aimed at the over-50s, serves groups up to 25 people; Solos operates four age bands with a minimum group size around 15; Explore offers both leisurely explorations with beach time and more intensive treks (up Kilimanjaro, for instance); and On Foot Holidays, which organizes walks for those who prefer to walk alone (luggage transported) all over Europe with low single supplements.
Only recently, Apple Leisure Group (ALG) announced new details on AMResorts’ expansion into Europe. The plan, which the company announced back in May, will bring four AMResorts properties to Europe beginning in 2019, two under the adults-only Secrets Resorts & Spas brand, and the other two under the family-friendly Dreams Resorts & Spas and the all-new, family-friendly Amigo Resorts brands.
Fans of ALG can expect Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa top open in March 2019, followed by Secrets Lanzarote Resort & Spa and Amigo Fuerteventura Resort in May 2019. Lastly, in November 2019, Dreams Lanzarote Resort & Spa will debut as a five-star property (formerly a four-star hotel).
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An expert guide to the best all-inclusive hotels in the Greek Islands, including the top places to stay for kid's clubs, family-friendly facilities, watersports, beach access, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and rooms with sea views.
The picks? Aeolos Beach Hotel, Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort and Ikos Dassia in Corfu; Daios Cove, White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort, Ikaros Beach Resort & Spa, Creta Maris, Cavo Spada Luxury Resort and Spa, and Club Marine Palace & Suites in Crete; Mitsis Grand Hotel in Rhodes; and Michelangelo Resort & Spa in Kos.
Back in April and May, Europe air travel suffered from numerous strikes—most notably by Brussels Airlines and Air France. In addition, a strike disrupted rail travel in France as national rail operator SNCF saw employees strike for extended periods of time.
Portugal's popularity has been on the incline for several years, now. While the numbers aren't yet out for 2018, Portugal saw 20 million visitors last yeara record for the country. Of those 20 million, 685,000 came from the United States, which also set a record. Travel Agent expects both of those numbers to be higher in 2018. To meet demand, both Lisbon and Porto expanding its hotel offerings with 61 new hotels and 23 remodeled hotels having launched in 2018. Overall, Portugal’s two largest cities planned to add 4,770 new rooms, according to Association of Hoteliers of Portugal (AHP).
In April, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that airlines must compensate passengers for flight delays and cancellations caused by airline staff strikes. The ruling applies to all airlines passengers flying to the European Union (EU), on an EU airline or from any country within the EU—including passengers from the United States, which could have implications for U.S. travel agents with clients headed to Europe.