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  Le Quesnoy 100 WWI Commemorations

Innovative Travel reminds travellers that the final 100th commemorations for WWI are taking place in Le Quesnoy (France) on the Western Front on 4 November, followed by Armistice Day in Paris 11 November.

Their in-depth tour is hosted by experienced WWI hosts, former NZ Ambassador Roy Ferguson and his French speaking wife Dawn, who will join in Paris on 30 October and conclude in Brussels 08 November.  MD Robyn Galloway says this Western Front tour will focus on key battle sites for the Anzacs both on The Somme and around Passchendaele, in addition to attending the Le Quesnoy 100th commemorations 4 November.  The feedback we receive from kiwi's who travel on our battlefield tours is that they very much appreciate the NZ perspective being emphasised, as the Western Front campaign covered an extended area.

This tour is special, as it was the New Zealanders who were responsible for liberating Le Quesnoy, which had been occupied by the Germans for almost the entire war, from August 1914 through to its dramatic liberation on 04 November 1918, when the Kiwi's scaled a ladder set against the ancient walls of the town and took the remaining Germans as prisoners with no loss of life for the villagers. 

An option is available to extend this tour to include Armistice Day in Paris on 11 November.  A shorter locally guided 6 day tour ex Lille is also available.  For more information click on the top Le Quesnoy image

click on the brochure cover for more information
  We have a Winner!

Congratulations to Johan Stokvis, winner of a beautiful bottle of Italian Red from the Ciao Italiano Night at the Colombo 2 weeks ago.

The fun night featured everything Italian - music, food, wine, fashion, not to mention holidays.  Innovative Travel have represented CIT Italy - the brochure is a font of information on touring and staying it Italy and includes art, history and cultural tours, food & wine tours, walking, cycling and family holiday options in popular areas such as Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Puglia,Lakes and all the main cities (Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Naples etc) - not to mention the Aeolian Islands, Sicily & Sardinia.

    The Safari Company

Kiwi born, Nairobi based Andy Kibby personally hosted 'The Safari Company' Tours continue to grow in popularity year after year.  After the 'Gorillas, Gameparks & Beaches' 32 day programme sold out in record time in 2018 a third departure has been introduced for 2019.  This tour includes the opportunity to get up close and personal with Mountain Gorillas in the wild of Uganda.  Clients will retrace Dian Fossey's footsteps and see chimpanzee, along with the 'Big 5' wildlife in Africa.  Highlights include game drives in the Masai Mara, Serengeti, QE National Park and Ngorongoro Crater .. plus so much more.
continue reading news release HERE

  Jane Daniels Christchurch Fashion Show (inspired by her recent Japan trip)

Innovative Travel Brand Ambassador Jane Daniels completed her New Zealand wide Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion launch at the exclusive Christchurch Club in Christchurch.  It was a night of high fashion, inspiring travel tales and great food.
Garments in her 2018 Autumn/Winter range were inspired by her recent trip to Japan (read about it by clicking here)
Representing Innovative Travel (right photo): Caryn, Lynda, Chris
View Jane Daniels AW2018 collection



In a world first Innovative Travel is offering an exclusive insider tour to the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo - prior to the official opening!
Constructed to be the world's largest museum exhibiting only one civilisation, the Grand Egyptian Museum will display incredible artefacts of "the ancient Egyptian civilisation" from prehistoric times through to the Greco-Roman period.
MD of Innovative Travel, Robyn Galloway, says its Cairo based Director, Elhamy ElZayat has negotiated special access for Ancient Kingdoms Holiday's clients.
The new Grand Egyptian Museum, located near the Pyramids will display over 100,000 artefacts including 30,000 from the boy king Tutankhamun, with many treasures and artefacts on display for the first time.  Our special insider tour will take the clients to the restoration labs which are divided into three parts: 1) stone statues, 2) woodwork and 3) papyri, jewellery and other ornaments.  Clients, in addition to viewing these amazing artefacts, will learn about the meticulous restoration taking place with the aid of Japanese technology and Egyptian artists working closely together to create this international first.  Galloway, who first visited the Museum in 2015, said the progress is amazing and it's an exciting new venture for Egypt and this is the perfect offering for clients on luxury holidays to Egypt, who are seeking that extra special exclusive experience.
For more information contact Innovative Travel.

Top image: work in progress
Middle Images: Shield of Tutankhamun before and after restoration
Bottom image: Image of the completed interior

Photo: Robyn Galloway (Chair of the NZ Turkey Business
Council) with the new Ambassador to Turkey on the
Right - Wendy Hinton

New Zealand's new Ambassador to Turkey - Wendy Hinton - in a recent meeting with Robyn Galloway (MD of Innovative Travel & Chair of the NZ Turkey Business Council) said she is optimistic that the trade and economic relationship, including the tourism sector, will increase between NZ and Turkey.  Ours is a long term relationship and the annual Anzac commemorations each year at Gallipoli remain an important focus to both countries, with Kiwi's making the pilgrimage each year for Anzac Day. 
As a destination Turkey has a lot to offer Kiwi's who are interested in history and culture, making it an appealing destination.  We'd also like to see more tourists from Turkey visiting NZ, said Ambassador Hinton.
Robyn adds tourism to Turkey from NZ is steadily returning with significant growth in 2018.
Innovative travel has added more Small Groups, Coact Tours and FIT programmes in their Ancient Kingdoms programme for 2018 to cater for the increased demand.

  Africa Safaris for the 45+

Over the past two weeks, Innovative Travel and The Safari Company have hosted events in New Plymouth, Rotorua, Tauranga, Ashburton and Christchurch for both agents and consumers.
MD of Innovative Travel, Robyn Galloway, says that each year these unique safaris offered by kiwi born, Nairobi based Andy Kibby are selling out earlier and earlier.
With over 25 years' experience in leading safari tours, we're finding that clients in the 45+ demographic who really want to travel to East or Southern Africa are very reassured by Andy's obvious expertise and long term experience.
The Safari Company is unique in that every tour is personally escorted by Andy in a specially designed high wheel base truck which offers exceptional wild life viewing.
Due to the popularity of the 31 day departures from Kampala to Zanzibar a third 31-day departure  has been added for 2019.  The 2019 brochures will be available late April/early May, but details are currently available on our website.
It is vital that anyone who wants to secure their spot books early to avoid disappointment.

Photos taken at the Christchurch function.  Top right: Monica from Discover Travel, Caryn from Innovative Travel, Aimee HOT CHC city, Lynda & Christine from Innovative Travel & Andy Kibby.


NEW for 2018 - Croisi Canada

Some exciting news from croisi.  Europe's popular cruise operator, CroisiEurope, is launching its first-ever small ship, first class Canadian cruise series combining St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
This unique 10-day cruise from Quebec to Toronto aboard the boutique 34 cabin MS Jacques Cartier will launch in August 2018.
Itinerary highlights include: Trois-Rivers, Montreal, Ottawa, The Thousand Islands, Prince Edward Country and Kingston Highlights.  In addition to the spectacular nature views and visits, tastings of local wine and delicacies such as cheeses, maple syrup, beers and ice wine are included.
Cabins start rom NZD5,500 per person share twin.  Included in this price are all on-board meals, some drinks, some excursions and all port fees with optional excursions to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, the CN Tower in Toronto and an authentic sugar shack on a maple farm.
2018: 03, 12, 28 Aug | 6, 28 Sep | 7,16, 25 Oct
2019: 16, 25 Jun | 4, 13 Jul | 31 Aug | 9,18,27 Sep | 6,15 Oct
021 119 1211
  New Business Development Manager

We are pleased to introduce Joanne Saunderson - our newly appointed Auckland based BDM.  The appointment of Joanne is timely, with her role focusing on the Auckland and North Island markets, which are very important to Innovative Travel.
Joanne's 25 years industry experience combined with her broad international travel knowledge makes the appointment a natural fit.  We are seeing growth in all areas, including our boutique small group tours and traditional Ancient Kingdoms Holiday destinations such as Egypt & Turkey; where Innovative Travel has extensive connections and experience.
With Joanne's appointment, it will make it easier for us to service the growing interest in our specialist niche areas and provide more opportunity for agent promotions and sales calls.


Travel Companions.Club added the sparkle this morning with Hilary Muir, winner of our latest competition to nominate 'your favourite travel companion and where you would next like to explore'.

Hilary's was the winning post.
Photo is of Robyn Galloway, founder of the Travel Companions.Club, presenting Hilary
Muir with the prize bottle of Moet.  Enjoy Hilary!


  New brochure release

Innovative Travel has released its new Asia brochure with an increased focus on boutique small group tours departures for 2017 and 2018.

Travel agents and clients are seeking peace of mind when they're booking a Small group Tour. With all of our tours guaranteed with a minimum of 2 clients, it creates assurance at the time of booking, says Innovative Travel MD Robyn Galloway.    It is exciting to see the Small Group tours trending upwards,  hence for the later part of 2017 and for 2018,  over 100 guaranteed departures are offered.   Traditional small group destinations  for Vietnam,  Myanmar and India have been supplemented by our new innovative destinations : Japan and Sri Lanka. The innovative philosophy is to continue have the best local representatives in each country ensuring authentic local experiences.  This is important as our typical client is an experienced traveller and wants to connect with the locals,  whilst staying at more boutique hotels.  With over 27 years' experience, we are the "trusted travel choice", says Galloway

Pictured from left: Kirsty Degnan (Innovative); Peter Dunne (Discover Travel); Lynda Morrison (Innovative)
and Elhamy ElZayat

  Egyptian tourism returns!

Innovative Travel's Cairo based Director, Elhamy ElZayat was in Christchurch last week, with the latest Egyptian updates in a trade and consumer evening, encouraging Kiwi's to catch up with other markets who are returning to Egypt.
Elhamy said that it is now over 6 years since the country's initial uprising and Egypt has moved on with their new constitution now in place, which has resulted in over 80 female Members of Parliament along with many other positive changes.
Classical tourism is rebounding at an international level with Americans, Canadians and Brazilians leading the way.  ElZayat added that with 40 years' experience in welcoming tourists to Egypt, his company had never ever had an issue around a single threat for any client.
With regional representatives from Alexandria to Abu Simbel, clients are assured of professional local backup and the best professional guides and Egyptologists.  Ancient Egypt has so many unique sites, now is the time to return, says ElZayat.

    Laos Educational

Innovative Travel & Singapore Airlines recently hosted an educational trip to Laos.  SQ now fly into both Vientiane and Luang Prabang, making it an easy country to explore said Innovative tour host Christine Costello.  It is definitely an emerging destination with history and a Buddhist heritage, friendly locals, great fresh cuisine with lots of flavours and easy to explore.
The photo was taken on the last day on the Living Land Tour in Luang Prabang.  This was the sticky rice production tour where the group learned about the 13 stages of rice production followed, of course, by step 14: sampling the end product!

Back: Christine (Innovative), Justine (Journalist), Bev (SQ)
2nd Back: Angela (Helloworld), Bruce (Orbit), Toni (HOT)
Middle: Nicola (KNL), Andrew (HOT), Emma (Destinations)
2nd: Lisa (Helloworld), Shirley (You), Rachel (Helloworld)
Front: Guide, Rob (Best Tvl/World Travellers)

    Hello from sunny Bohol in The Philippines

The temperature in Bohol is a sunny 30c, says Robyn Galloway - MD of Innovative Travel currently on an inspection trip in the Philippines with Philippines Airlines and the Department of Tourism.
Pictured at the Virgin Island sandbar - a day trip from Bohol - Robyn says the Philippines beaches are vastly underrated.  It is also a cheap eat with beer around NZ2, cocktails around NZ5 and dinner anywhere from NZ20 for 2 or 3 courses.  Bohol especially is ideal for family holidays or for those interested in eco tourism, or just wanting an affordable beach holiday.....people are really friendly and on Bohol it feels really safe.
Innovative Travel is delighted to be promoting this emerging tourism destination adds Robyn.

    On 20 March Robyn Galloway, MD of Innovative Travel and Chair of the NZ Turkey Business Council, was invited to attend the Unveiling Ceremony of the Turkish Memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, hosted by Ambassador H.E. Ahmet Ergin, who was joined for the unveiling by New Zealand Minister for Arts, Heritage and Culture the Hon. Maggie Barry.
This was a well attended event which commemorated our WWI roots.  The memorial is quite special and was designed by a NZ armed forces sculptor, Gunner Matt Gauldie, liaising closely with Ambassador Say and more recently Ambassador Ergin.

Photo:  Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry unveiling the memorial with Ambassador H.E. Ahmet Ergin





You're invited to an exotic charity evening Travel and Fashion Fundraiser for Aviva.  Included in your ticket price is:

Preview Jane Daniels Winter 2017 Russian inspired collection after her Innovative Travel Russian adventure
Discover ancient kingdoms with Robyn Galloway of Innovative Travel
Savour delicious canapes and wine
Receive a complimentary Goodie Bag
Listen to the jazz fusion sound of Vintage Blue
Treat yourself to something amazing at our charity auction
Enjoy a delicious Cotton Candy cocktail on arrival courtesy of Spiritual Vodka

MC: Lady Susan Satyanand
Auctioneer: Lindsay Welch (Mike Pero)
Date: Thursday 06 April 2017
Place: Hagley Park Oval, Christchurch
Time: 5.30 - 8.00 pm

Individual Ticket   $85 per person
Corporate Tables $850 per table of 10
For ticket information visit:

All funds raised go to Aviva (formerly Christchurch Women's Refuge), supporting Canterbury families to live violence-free.

  Egypt tourism is returning steadily, says New Zealand's long term Egypt operator Innovative Travel.  With over 27 years' experience in Egypt tours, MD Robyn Galloway says there have been some profound changes in the Egyptian constitution.  It should be noted that Egypt is deliberately taking a very different pathway to many of its neighbours with the country officially now secular and Islam no longer the official religion.  The updated constitution has a quota system for younger people to hold a 25% allocation placement on all city and town councils, along with a similar 25% quota system for women on councils.

It is too easy for kiwis to put the Middle East into one basket, when Egypt is making some unique progress.
It has been helpful to receive updated info. from Cairo based business partner Elhamy el Zayat, one of the 80 Egyptians involved with the new constitution, says Robyn.    Egyptian tourism is returning and we encourage clients who wish to visit Egypt to do so soon before the large client numbers and queues return.




Innovative Travel have released their "book with confidence" Boutique Royal India First Class Tour.

MD of Innovative Travel, Robyn Galloway says agents have more and more hectic schedules,  so it is important that they can reserve their clients on our boutique small group tours with confidence,  as all Innovative Travel Indian Boutique tours are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of only two clients.

Clients these days want to experience a destination in a variety of travel styles - walking tours and a sunset cruise -  as well as visiting the traditional sites. Accommodation is at a selection of carefully chosen hotels and heritage properties set in stunning surroundings including traditional gardens and a lake view, while the Delhi and Agra hotels are centrally located.  

To celebrate the Royal India Tour release,  a special early bird offer is available.  For clients who book and pay by 30 September, the price is reduced from $4150 pp/share twin to only $3,650pp/share twin.

In 2016 there are three departures on 15 Sept, 13 Oct and 03 Nov 2016.  In 2017, there are 10 departures throughout the year from 19 Jan to 21 December.  With the standard of accommodation and many tour inclusions, there is amazing value for clients, says Robyn.


Mike Hawke Pilgrimage tour to Jordan and the Holyland

Update on the August 2016 Jordan and Holyland tour has the group enjoying their first few days visiting Mt Nebo and the mosaic church at Madaba, not to mention enjoying the unusual experience of a 'float' in the Dead Sea.

A highlight so far has been the visit to the Madaba and viewing the amazing mosaics - including an unusual one of Jesus as a 3 - 4 year old (normally depicted as either an infant or an adult).  The group were looking forward to their walk in the Petra Valley the following day.

Top Photo:  'Here we are , like Moses, on Mt Nebo looking over the promised land'.
Bottom photo: bathing beauties.


From left:
Gina McCarthy (You Takapuna), Michelle
Baldwin (Innovative), Donna Harrison (HOT Hastings), Tanya Chaffey(Chaffey & Szymanska Travel Assoc),
Alisha Russell (HOT Ferrymead), Angela Pascoe
(You Waihi), Bev Daniels (SQ)

  Sri Lanka touring

Michelle Baldwin is just back from escorting (in conjunction with Bev Daniels of Singapore Airlines) a small group of agents to beautiful Sri Lanka.  They visited Colombo - Pinnawala - Kandalama - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Matale - Kandy  - Ahungalla - Galle and Kalutara.  In addition to the stunning scenery and UNESCO heritage sites they made friends with baby elephants at an elephant orphanage, and baby turtles.  Michelle reports "Sri Lanka is fantastic value for money - even in the 5* resorts". 
A highlight for the whole team was climbing the Sigiriya Rock Fortress (and the wonderful views from the top).  The photo at left shows the group with Sigiriya Rock in the background.

For more photos click on the link below:

    Egypt is warmly welcoming tourists

... this from Innovative Travel MD Robyn Galloway, who is currently, in conjunction with Etihad Airlines, hosting a group of travel agents on a familiarisation trip in Egypt.  The group have just finished their Nile Cruise, and are now experiencing all Cairo has to offer.

Photo from left:  Robyn Galloway|Innovative travel: Viv Blackmore|Helloworld NPE: Leigh Feast|Hello World Masterton : Keryn Beveridge|Discover Travel CHC: Gary Harley|HOT DUD : Bryan Handcock|Hello World Tokoroa : Kate Smyth|Morrinsville HOT : Sue Gartshore|You CBD : Jacki Setz|Travel Smart NPE: and Roshnie Chibba|Etihad Airlines

    Western Front Evening

Recently Innovative Travel hosted an evening with at the Christchurch RSA for people interested in finding about more about our 2016 and 2017 WWI tours to The Somme & Passchendaele for the 100th commemorations.

Pictured from left:  Peter Kennedy WWI Tour Host, Robyn Galloway MD Innovative Travel, Jenny Haworth - Author 'Behind the Twisted Wire', and Lynda Morrison Groups Manager Innovative Travel


  NZ-Turkey Business Council

Strengthening ties between Turkey and New Zealand led to the establishment of a NZ-Turkey Business Council, with the inaugural meeting held on Thursday 11 February. 

Hosting the meeting was NZ Ambassador to Turkey Jonathan Curr, and the meeting was Chaired by Robyn Galloway from The Innovative Travel Company.

Pictured from left: Dave Fletcher Hamilton Jet: Kari White NZTE; Catherine Beard Export NZ: Anne Clifford NZTE Trade Commissioner & Consul General; James Mace Flightcell; Robyn Galloway Innovative Travel; Ambassador Jonathan Curr and Ali Mossalem Garra International Ltd




News from Turkey

Robyn Galloway MD of Innovative Travel is currently inspecting hotels in Pamukkale in Turkey. She advises that all four and five star hotels are enjoying 90 to 100% occupancy from European and Japanese groups here for the health benefits of this famous thermal region.

Robyn says it is great that these nationalities understand the size of Turkey and that any news items around the southern border do not impact on mainstream tourism to classical sites. Turkish people are so welcoming of New Zealand visitors, we enjoy  a very unique relationship, says Robyn



Turkey competition with Paul Henry & Te Papa

The very excited winner Sheryl Manson and her partner David have won an Ancient Kingdoms Glories of Turkey First Class Coach tour, with return economy class airfares Christchurch to Istanbul courtesy of Singapore Airlines.

The competition was organised in conjunction with the 'Gallipoli Scale of our War' Exhibition at Te Papa Museum and the Paul Henry Show.

  September 2015 Travel Agents India Trip

Just returned from a fabulous time in India, and photographed together at the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Bharatpur are:
Back Row: Chris Costello (Innovative Travel Escort), Caro Smith (HOT Morrinsville), Katrina Stewart (Travelcom Mt Maunganui)
Front Row: Anna Were (UT Tauranga), Beryl Wilson (NZ Travel Brokers Whakatane), Sharon O'Brien (The Travel Brokers-Live Breathe Travel), Jane Hanson (UT Bethlehem), David Cull (HWT Tauranga), Jeryl Bromley (UT Waiheke Island), Crystal Hilton (HOT/Calder & Lawson) & Yvonne Wilson (NZ Travel Brokers Whakatane)


2015 Champion Canterbury Awards with CECC

The Champion Canterbury Awards were held last night in Christchurch at the Horncastle Arena with over 1,300 attendees, making these the largest business awards in New Zealand.

As a CECC Board Member, Robyn Galloway said she was honoured to be amidst such incredible local companies who are exporting, designing and manufacturing in highly skilled areas. Our congratulations to all the finalists.   Innovative Travel Tour Host and former NZ Ambassador Rene Wilson was also present.

    Jane Daniels Sri Lanka trip

Fashion Designer and Innovative Travel Brand Ambassador Jane Daniels has just returned from a sojourn to Sri Lanka - timed to coincide with the annual Perahera Festival in Kandy.

Read all about her trip to, in her words "the ultimate treasure island', and view some of her photos.

Photo taken at Sigiriya Rock
Innovative Travel Sri Lanka holiday options


Marie Coles recently travelled to Egypt and was amazed how safe she felt

Pictured left at the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor.

Read more about her trip in her own words in the attached "Salaam Alaikum from Egypt", which includes some stunning photos.

Marie packed in quite a lot during her short stay: Cairo, the Pyramids and the Egypt Museum; Luxor (Karnak and Valley of the Kings), and even a felucca cruise on the Nile.

Moroccan exploits

Journalist Justine Tyerman (pictured on the left in a souk in Marrakech) surprised herself by stepping well outside her comfort zone on a recent trip to Morocco with the Innovative Travel Company.  One of the (many) highlights was a camel trek through the Merzouga Desert.

Part of her tour included an entertaining time learning to prepare 3 traditional Moroccan dishes at the prestigious Maison Arabe Cooking School in Marrakech.  Read about her travels, and see some of her photos in her article "Older and Bolder" in the Gisborne Herald.

View our Morocco Holidays

Team on Tour July 2015

Marie Coles (BDM) and Lynda Morrison (Groups) have just returned from taking a small group of agents on a tour of Morocco, and have some marvellous tales to tell and photos to share.

Marie reports "Been lots of highlights. Everyone loved cooking class and Marrakesh in general was a lovely city. The desert & drives over high passes, and the camel ride great topped off with a fab night having dinner in luxury tent.  Enjoyed the medina in Fez".  

A highlight for Lynda was the last night dinner in Rick's Cafe in Casablanca - a wonderful end to a fantastic trip.


Peterhof Palace  - St Petersburg
read more
View our Russia Holidays


Team on Tour June 2015

Maria has just returned from Russia, and during her time in Moscow and St. Petersburg she inspected quite a few hotels as well as seing the main sights.

She had this tip for people travelling to Russia "It makes so much difference if you have an English speaking guide with you. They are super knowledgeable people. Makes your life easier, you don't have to think where you can buy a bottle of water (please do not ever drink tap water in Russia), how to get metro tickets, how to get entry tickets to museums/galleries.  Peterhof Place and Park was a perfect example of why having a tour guide is crucial. There were 5 large groups lining up to get in to the palace. Because it was just two of us with the guide, she managed to talk to all staff members to let us in without waiting. The guides try to provide 110% of a tour booked, really impressive




Lynda Morrison (Groups) & Marie Coles (BDM) in The Somme area of France (July 2015)

Imagine gardening in your backyard and coming across 2 trenches, the remains of 5 German soldiers and 11 unexploded hand grenades. This is exactly what happened to our guide who lives in a small village in the Somme. There's 480 memorial cemeteries in the Somme area alone and today we wandered in awe through some of these resting places, past graves of hundreds of brave Kiwi soldiers. In Arras we explored 20 meters below ground where NZ soldiers dug an amazing network of tunnels and 24,000 soldiers were quartered before making a surprise attack on the Germans on 9th April 1917. An AMAZING day!
Innovative Travel has designed several special escorted tours to coincide with Western Front commemorations in 2016-17

Photo 1: Bonjean Cemetery in Ammentieres where there are the largest number of NZ graves
Photo 2: Marie and Lynda atop Blockhouse near Albers


 see the full 6 day  itinerary


Strasbourg to Amsterdam CroisiEurope Cruise

Robyn Galloway, MD of The Innovative Travel Company, is currently in Europe and on a CroisiEurope cruise on the M.S Gerard Schmitter from beautiful Strasbourg (in France) to Amsterdam. 

She is enjoying the sightseeing, meals and activities on board and the leisurely pace of the river cruise.  This is Robyn's second cruise - previously she experienced CroisiEurope's 5 day Exceptional Wines & Castles of Bordeaux cruise on the Princesse D'Aquitaine

    Gallipoli 2015 Group

Mike Yardley, well known radio personality, sent us the photo opposite with his tour group whilst in Gallipoli recently for the 100th commemorations of the Anzac's in Turkey.  He is pictured in the red tour leaders jacket on the left, with his co-leader Colleen Doyle on the right.  Also in the photo is Robyn Galloway, the MD of Innovative Travel (standing behind Mike in blue jacket) who was on hand to make sure things ran smoothly.

Feedback from the group was that the itinerary was great and delivered a diverse array of Turkish delights (with many wanting to return and see more).  Everyone loved their local guide - Huseiyn- who was the best guide that many had encountered.



Turkey's Governor of Çanakkale visits NZ ahead of 100th Commemorations at Gallipoli

Robyn Galloway, MD of Battlefield tour Specialists, The Innovative Travel Company met with Mr Ahmet Cinar, Governor of Çanakkale, on his recent visit to NZ, for discussions centred around the upcoming 100th Commemorations in Gallipoli next month.  "The Governor provided an update on Çanakkale, the events taking place and some exciting projects underway" says Robyn.  "With accommodation averaging 90% occupancy in Çanakkale the Governor was pleased to inform me that two new five star hotel projects had begun, as well as a planned suspension bridge connecting Çanakkale and providing a much faster travel time from Istanbul to Çanakkale."  The projects are anticipated to be completed early in 2020's.  Robyn also advises, the governor expressed he is very much looking forward to welcoming New Zealanders to the special 100th commemorations taking place at Gallipoli on ANZAC Day. 

Bottom photo: Çanakkale in 1915



Jane Daniels launched her new winter fashion range in an exciting fashion-travel evening with Innovative Travel at Jeff Gray BMW in Christchurch last week.

The inspiration for Jane's new colours and design, came from her recent trip to the Ancient Kingdom of Oman,  organised by Innovative Travel.  Jane showed some images of Oman,   including the desert,  wadis, date palms,  a Frankincense tree,  the desert castle of Nizwa and the traditional dhow building in the city of Sur, along with the white cosmopolitan city of Muscat, which is located on a stunning beach and azure ocean waters. 

Managing Director Robyn Galloway spoke about her recent trip to Egypt,  Egyptian tourism is definitely returning; now is a great time to visit to beat the crowds.  From the amazing Valley of the Kings to the Pyramids, the sites of Egypt inspire that "wow moment" said Robyn

    Update from Cairo (March 2015)

David Cogswell, an American journalist from TravAlliance Media joined Robyn Galloway,  MD of Innovative Travel alongside a small delegation of international journalists and tour companies for an "inside look" at Egypt including some the positive changes which are occurring there,  during late February.

With the permission of David Cogswell, we are pleased to attach his comments and photos relating to tourism in Egypt, what it has to offer; and addressing the 'perceived danger' of travelling there.

Food for thought - plus some great photos


Christchurch Women's Lifestyle Expo Prize Winner

Anita Styles (pictured on the left with Innovative Travel Team Leader Lynda Morrison) called into the Innovative office recently to collect her awesome prize, consisting of:

* A $250 voucher from Innovative Travel
* A $250 voucher from Jane Daniels boutique
* A Family Pass for "Behind the Scenes" Airforce Museum.

Innovative Travel had a stand at the two day expo, promoting our holidays


The Travel Account - Sunday Star Times Oct 2014

The MD of Innovative Travel - Robyn Galloway recently featured in an article entitled "Respect to fallen heroes" about her fascination with visiting places where New Zealanders made the ultimate sacrifice - El Alamein, Gallipoli, Passchendaele, Crete, Yalta and The Somme.

The article also asks a multitude of questions that will be of interest to travellers, such as "Most underrated city?', "Must have travel item" etc


The Innovative Travel Group hosted by former NZ Ambassador Rene Wilson was in Monte Cassino for the 70th commemorations for the Battle of Monte Cassino.

Rene commented that it was a very meaningful time to reflect upon heavy losses and sacrifices made by the New Zealand battalions.   After attending official services and visiting sites of importance for the battles, the group departed Monte Cassino several days later to spend a day hosted by Kiwi born and Italian resident,  Gail Hopkins in Abruzzo where they took time out to visit a local vineyard.

Viki Moore PA David Carter,  Karen Petrie The Innovative Travel Company, Sarah Clarke, Holland, Clarke & Beatson Travel; Cheryl Whitham House of Travel Northlands; Chris Mercer Adventure Travel Shop; Robyn Galloway, The Innovative Travel Company


Champion Canterbury Awards

The Innovative Travel Company hosted a table for the Champion Canterbury Awards in Christchurch on Thursday 27th September which celebrated awards for many Canterbury Companies. The Event is hosted by the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce.

The awards night is very special and really celebrates some many diverse

Canterbury companies.  It is another signal that the rebuild is under way and a credit to companies who have continued to achieve despite the many challenges of last years Earthquakes, says Robyn.


From left to right.

Sarah Anderson, Sandy Connolly; Elhamy El Zayat, Alana Aldridge, Kelianne Keen & Robyn Galloway


House of Travel Merivale has been presented with Top Sales Egypt Award on behalf of Ancient Kingdoms Holidays.  The award was presented by Robyn Galloway, MD of The Innovative Travel Company and Egyptian business partner, Cairo based Elhamy ElZayat; NZ Order of Merit.  Elhamy congratulated the team and says that he expects that tourism to Egypt will continue to increase as the road to democracy becomes more settled.  Importantly with 35 years experience in Egyptian tourism Elhamy reiterated that it is safe for tourists to continue to travel to Egypt.  "We receive over 45,000 tourists a year who are being warmly welcomed and making the most of the shorter queues and who feel safe during their travels." With offices in Cairo, Alexandra, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm el Sheikh and Abu Simbel, clients also benefit from being looked after by local representatives.  

MD Robyn Galloway says Innovative Travel continues to have absolute confidence in their local business partner and welcomes the returning interest in Egypt.

Left: Rene Wilson (former NZ Ambassador to Egypt
Middle: Robyn Galloway (MD The Innovative Travel Company)
Right: Lynda Morrison (Innovative Groups Manager)


Rene Wilson, former NZ Ambassador to Egypt is delighted to be hosting the Innovative Travel Special Tour for the 70th commemorations of the Battle of El Alamein, which take place 19 & 20 October this year in El Alamein.

New Zealanders will join with Australian and British representatives to remember the fallen in several ceremonies including a special ceremony for the New Zealand contingent which an official NZ Government delegation will attend along with some of the few remaining veterans from World War II. MD of Innovative Travel Robyn Galloway says there has been some speculation about the safety in Egypt as it transitions to democracy.  However she says she is confident that in working with Cairo based business partner, Elhamy El Zayat, and their local office in Alexandria which is near to El Alamein. A contingent of New Zealand Peace Keepers from the Sinai will also be present at the commemorations.

In addition to attending the special ceremonies the group will also visit war cemeteries in Cairo and Alexandria, before taking a Nile Cruise.

Robyn says she is aware that there maybe some last minute bookings out there,  as there is huge interest in commemorations and this possibly the last time that veterans will be able to attend a North African memorial service.


Re-election to Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce Board

MD of The Innovative Travel Company, Robyn Galloway has been re-elected to the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce Board for a third term. Robyn said she was delighted by the vote of confidence from the members and intended to continue working to highlight the needs of the tourism and travel sectors, as well as being a voice for SME's and the many businesses that were displaced from the CBD during the Earthquake. Canterbury has had an incredibly challenging year and it is important now to focus on moving the region forward in the plans for recovery.  CEO Peter Townsend is to be commended for his broad vision, we are starting to see progress for the business community who have been incredibly resilient, said Robyn.


Innovative Links with World Class Kiwis

Middle East & Mediterranean specialists, The Innovative Travel Co. hosted a table at the prestigious KEA World Class Kiwi Awards Celebration in Auckland this week.  The wholesalers Egyptian business partner, Elhamy Elzayat, was a nominated for the 'Friend of NZ' category, which was won by Lord Charles Denman. The impressive 95 yr old veteran who fought in Libya during the Western Deserts Battlefields campaign alongside many Kiwi's.  "The event is truly inspirational, said Robyn Galloway, MD "and it was a great honour for Elhamy to be nominated along with many talented and exceptional people.  It was particularly inspirational to speak with Lord Denman,  who bravely fought alongside so many kiwis in WWII  and escaped to Egypt, managing to avoid capture by the Germans".


Egypt Update

Mr Elzayat, indicated that 'Egypt is Back' and many improvements were on track for the country with the changes in the constitution designed to provide for a truly democratic government. He advised that we would continue to hear about events in Tahrir Square in the centre of Cairo, which his offices overlook, as it is the focal point for any issues which locals want to bring to everyone's attention and this was part of the process to the new Egypt. He added that these events were being undertaken in a peaceful, albeit very vocal way, and this should not cause concern to travellers ... introducing some humour into his address, Elzayat indicated that the traffic issues in Cairo were still of more concern than the local peaceful protests. All tourist sites have re-opened, travel bans have been removed and all arrangements for travel are operating normally once again as more and more travellers are coming back to Egypt.


Innovative's business partner appointed to chair Egyptian Tourism Federation

The Innovative Travel Company's long term business partner, Elhamy El Elzayat (on the left) has been appointed Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation by Egypt's new Minister of Tourism. He will be responsible for overseeing the election of a new board for the Federation and its five chambers and to develop the strategic tourism plan for Egypt over the next ten years. Innovative's Managing Director, Robyn Galloway (above right) says she is delighted with the new appointment, which will be very positive for Egyptian tourism.

    ISIS Award - 2010

The Innovative Travel Company has been recognised by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism for its outstanding contribution to Egyptian tourism from New Zealand in 2010.

The 'Isis Award' was provided by Egypt's Ministry to Innovative's business partner, Elhamy Elzayat to present to the wholesaler on his current visit to New Zealand. At a celebration last Thursday Mr Elzayat (former Honorary Consul General for New Zealand in Egypt) gave an update on recent and current events in Egypt and presented the award to Robyn Galloway, Managing Director of The Innovative Travel Company

  Rameses Award (Egypt) - May 2005

For an outstanding contribution towards the development of tourism in Egypt.  
Presented by the Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Ahmed El Maghraby.  

  Business Woman of the year - 2005

Presented to Robyn Galloway (Managing Director of Innovative Travel) for best SME (Small - Medium Enterprise) at Sky City, Auckland, 2005.








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