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Is Instagram changing the way we travel? by Luisa Roberts

Whatever happened to seeing where your travels may take you and the excitement of discovering hidden gems by chance? Increasingly, a new wave of social-savvy travellers are opting for a very different style of travel, including meticulously planned itineraries, curated with the help of a modern-day travel agent: Instagram.

With over 800 million monthly active users that share an estimated 95 million photos a day, it’s undeniable that we have an appetite for visual content. Instagram has fast-become one of the most trusted sources of travel advice, with 48% of users relying on the app for destination inspiration for their next escape. In fact, ‘Instagrammability’ is the most vital consideration for millennials when choosing a destination.

Last year, a study by National Geographic found that certain destinations appearing on the app experienced a growth in the number of visitors the more it was tagged. Tourism boards across the globe have quickly wised-up, with many already hosting ‘influencers’ for their holidays in exchange for sharing their adventures with their many eager followers.

The astounding business potential through utilising this new travel platform is perfectly summarised by photographer Chris Burkard, who shares;

“Now you’re less than 10 clicks away from seeing an image on Instagram to purchasing a ticket to go there.”

Whilst Instagram presents a great opportunity for destinations to put themselves on the map alongside empowering users, opening their eyes to a world of options and inspiration, it is also beginning to show its darker side.

With travellers planning every aspect of their trip down to the last meal out and coffee break based on recommendations by their favourite instagrammer, it runs the risk of killing our sense of adventure. It also hinders the potential for local businesses that aren’t splashed over the pages of top influencers, which rely on good old-fashioned footfall. Certain destinations have already seen such a large influx of social-media driven visitors that it has also invited the detrimental effects of over-tourism, including environmental degradation, cultural erosion and unsustainable development.

So when you come to plan your next getaway, think twice about travelling to somewhere a little different and share your adventure that others can be inspired by. It’s time to re-discover your inner explorer and your memories might be that bit more special for it!

Will the bucket list live on? by Kate Hutchinson

Whether you’re a well-oiled bucket list machine, keeping track of all your must-dos and have-dones in a creative looking scrapbook or just have ideas floating about in your head with all the things you want to do or see in your lifetime, bucket lists have become a way of life for many people.

However, following recent controversy, the bucket list has come under fire from many, particularly when it comes to a travel and tourism perspective.

Bucket lists are encouraging travellers to flock to those infamous bucket list destinations and landmarks. From Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, and even Everest, travel to these locations which were formerly considered a once in a lifetime trip, are instead being described as ‘chaotic’ with queues detracting from the experience.

Tourism is said to be having an environmental impact on some of the world’s most iconic locations. Many of them weren’t meant, or built, to withstand the increasing footfall. This has led to some of those classic bucket list tourist destinations to come under threat, with people going to extreme lengths to capture that Instagram-worthy snap.

Despite the negatives that have been linked to this, many are still pioneers for the bucket list and the benefits it can add to our lifestyle. Many use it as a method to ensure they make the most of their time and visit more places, but bucket lists needn’t be solely travel.

These are just three important benefits to having your very own bucket list:

  1. Encourages spontaneity and adds perspective on the world around you
  2. Positive distraction – we all know work can be stressful, so it’s always helpful to have a focused distraction that encourages you to step away from those everyday worries
  3. Sense of achievement

Completing items on our bucket list can make us feel as though we’ve fulfilled more in life and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Things might not always be completely realistic and that’s okay! People that know me would no doubt laugh at the thought of me one day running a marathon and I probably would too, but it’s nice to have something to work towards. After all, a bucket list is meant to be aspirational.

If Facebook have anything to do with it, it certainly won’t be the end of our bucket lists, with the social network introducing a new way of sharing our ‘lists’ with friends to promote interaction. Although this feature wasn’t purely for bucket lists, it seems Facebook were keen to ensure that the bucket list lives on, despite the negative reports.

So, I would encourage you to create a bucket list and ensure you live your life to the full.

Techy Travellers, by Naomi Busuttil

Many of us will admit that even in life’s most precious moments, we just can’t put down our phones. This is probably most relevant when on holiday and we find that while we should be soaking up the culture and relaxing, we’re instead snapping away for Instagram content, checking emails and scrolling through our social feeds.

But contrary to popular belief, phones aren’t the enemy when it comes to travel. And either way, who can resist travelling when you have some really good Europe Travel Deals. In fact, the travel-hungry among us are realising that apps can actually improve the experience and can be useful to ensure that you make the most of your trip. A recent study by Amadeus found that 45% of travellers have used an app to help them plan travel, 61% of business traveller’s check-in to their flight via a mobile app and 70% of travellers use a social app to share and relive their experiences.

There seems to be an app for every stage of travel, from choosing where to go to booking, right through to apps that are full of inspiration for while you are there. You can easily access unmissable sights, the best cafés and restaurants and exciting things to do in the place you are visiting, all with a swipe through your phone.

Apps such as SkyScanner, CityMaps2Go, Citymapper and PackPoint will help you to plan, pack and tour your way around the globe with ease. So, don’t put down your phone when it comes to travel; embrace the benefit of having the world at your fingertips and enrich your trip with some handy travel tech.

See ya, summer, by Eleanor Webster

With summer so nearly over, we find ourselves now looking to our next summer holiday (seems miles away, doesn’t it?). We almost always take a break to get that much deserved time out to relax and reset, but don’t let the chilly days and darker evenings be the reason to put you off your next travel adventure.

The travel industry has seen a huge rise in the great ‘staycation’. Isabel Choat of The Guardian puts it down to Brexit as Visit Britain reported that there was a 10% increase in bookings in the UK and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of it slowing down.

Whether you pack your bags and head to Thailand to enjoy massage sukhumvit or merely pack a sack of lunch to enjoy some time in the garden, you need to let yourself go and enjoy the vacation. Holidays aren’t just for summer, so take a little inspiration from us when it comes to picking your next getaway this autumn.

City Breaks
The classic city break is a brilliant way to relax because, believe it or not, you’re still getting away from it all. A change of scenery from what might feel like the humdrum of your everyday will be welcomed as there’s no better feeling than being able to get lost in the streets of a brand new city. The idea of museums and sightseeing might seem boring to some but up close it’s brilliant to feel submerged in the beauty and history of a location. You don’t even have to travel abroad to cities such as Amsterdam, Paris or Berlin – go for something on your doorstep like our very own capital, London or historic cities such as York and Bath.

Beach Breaks
It might not feel like bikini weather when it hits September in the UK, but that still doesn’t rule out a beach break. You might have to add some layers but a nostalgic trip to the seaside with a long walk on the beach is the perfect way to spend some ‘you’ time – you’d be surprised by some of the sands and seas we’ve got on our coastline. What’s more, with many beaches allowing dogs during these seasons, you can take your furry friends with you too (and save some money!)

Spa Breaks
Need we say more? A day trip or a full blow-out, spa breaks are a must. Throwing on a fluffy gown and slippers puts you straight into relaxation mode – just ignore the Wi-Fi and switch your phone off for a purely blissful experience. With so many last-minute offers around, it’s easy to book and takes minimal planning, making it a no-brainer option. Taking advantage of the spa facilities and treating yourself to a massage or treatment, you can’t get more ‘zen’ than this.

Three travel trends we can get on board with, by Harriet Ball

The way in which we choose to travel has changed significantly over the past few years. Millennials are living in the moment and want it all. The majority can’t afford a mortgage so their money goes on travel and living life to the full. If it doesn’t look good on Instagram, it’s a no-go, and if you don’t Snapchat it, you basically weren’t there. However, we need to travel mindfully and respect the locals to be able to sustain this ‘go anywhere, anytime’ lifestyle. Here are three travel trends we can get on board with.


Little and often

Gone are the days of the two-week exodus to the Costa Del Sol. Who wants to spend their annual leave in one go and endure months tied to their desk until next year’s holiday comes around? Recent research revealed that ‘little and often’ is how millennials take their holidays. Budget flights and accommodation around the world have opened up a multitude of options for ticking off bucket lists quickly and efficiently. This, in theory, should ease the crowding in the traditional Brits abroad hotspots as we look to new and less crowded destinations. Why ever not opt for a weekend in Iceland in April, a hop over to France in June, a staycation in August (because who wants to share air space with packs of screaming kids?) followed by a ‘big’ five day holiday with pals in September (the best month of the year to go on holiday)? Oh, and don’t forget a cheeky Christmas market break in December. We want a bit of everything. Sue Us!

Gram it

If it’s not ‘grammable’, it’s not worth the schlep. Recent research by our client Superbreak recently found that one in three of us have booked to visit a destination after seeing it on Instagram. And it’s not just millennials who are led by their smart phones to destinations new – 16% of people aged 65 plus have also booked at least one holiday after seeing photos on the social media platform. Capturing an array of perfect pictures whilst away has become the ultimate must-do. Taking, editing and sharing of snaps on Instagram takes up an equivalent of two days 19 hours and 12 minutes of our annual leave allowance each year!

Mindful escapes

Perhaps a by-product of travel habits no. 1 and 2 (we blame the weather), tourist boards around Europe are dealing with a huge backlash from locals complaining that tourism is ruining their cities. Hotspots like Barcelona, Rome and Dubrovnik have seen anti-tourism marches taking place this week to protest against overcrowding, inflation and unruly visitors getting drunk and peeing in the street. Locals are (understandably) very angry; they can’t sleep for the Airbnb parties going on around them, they can’t afford their local café anymore and in the worst-case scenarios, some are being displaced as their apartments are sold off to build luxury tourist apartments. While speaking at the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Amsterdam’s head of marketing revealed that the city does not want more people to visit but they want to increase the quality of visitors – “we want people who are interested in the city, not who want it as a backdrop for a party”.  Cue the need to channel a new wave of discreet, mindful tourism, whereby we still have fun, enjoy ourselves, but we respect the locals and their way of life and don’t act like total douche bags!

Lunchtime Explorer! by Janine Clark

Working in travel PR, we are constantly writing and talking about experiencing new, far-flung and stunning UK destinations. From ski resorts and new beach destinations to lakeside hotels and (relatively) ‘back to nature’ glamping locations, there is so much on offer! However, on walking past a group of office workers playing boule in Leeds city centre this lunchtime, it beckons the question; how well have we explored our own city and what cultural and interesting experiences can we fit into our everyday lives?

So, using an average one-hour lunch break as the perfect opportunity to fit in a shot of exploration, what experiences can we embrace on our lunch hour to help us become more locally well-travelled.

Some suggestions for 60 minutes (or less) things to do and see within your lunch hour:

Taste your way – Find the best coffee, cake, cheeses etc. by dedicating your lunch hour to sampling a selection of local food or drink to find the ultimate top 10 (you might want to hold off the top 10 gins!).

City-watch – With Spring Watch gracing our screens, this is the opportunity to channel your inner Michaela Strachan to do some wildlife watching. Get seated with an identification book and see what birds, mammals, insects or even reptiles you can spot. Keep your phone handy for the red squirrel or wild deer spot…you could get a film of your very own Spring Watch Live!

Mini concerts – Tune your ear with a free lunchtime concert held by universities or colleges such as the Northern College of Music, town halls and galleries or simply listen to a  busker (it’s how Ed Sheeran started out!)

Workout! – Use your hour to see the city and give yourself an energy boost! Forget the gym and take a whistle-stop city tour at pace. Plan your route using apps such as MapMyRun and take in the architecture on the way.

Park life – At this time of year, many city centre squares and grassed areas have complimentary deck chairs, just like Park Square outside our offices. Take advantage of this, sit back, smell the roses and take in views…no one said exploration needed to be strenuous!

Experience the UK’s best metropolitan festivals, by Emma Baylis

As a seasoned festival goer, it’s only taken me until recently to experience a metropolitan festival – a concept that’s been slowly on the rise in the UK and is now a booming part of this country’s live music scene.

It’s not hard to see why. Whilst trudging across muddy fields and not showering for four days has its appeal for some, many would prefer a more laid back environment but one that still enables them to experience some of the best up-and-coming artists Europe has to offer, in a short space of time.

Live at Leeds was the first taste of such an event – being local it was a no-brainer at just £30 a ticket. An award-winning festival, thousands of people not only from Yorkshire but across the UK, flock to see hundreds of artists play in a variety of venues across the city. Despite 12 hours of walking, it felt really relaxed, we even managed to stop for tea and cake and we saw all the acts we wanted to. A big thumbs up.

So it’s safe to say whilst Glastonbury is still on the cards and will always be my true festival love, I’ll certainly be hitting the streets of cities across the UK to have a taste of a few more metropolitan events – it’s a great opportunity to explore new places too. Here’s a few that are coming up:



Starting out as a free event back in 2009, Sheffield’s infamous festival Tramlines has increased both in popularity but also success. Held for three days over a weekend in July, it’s inspired by the city’s tram network, hence the name. With an eclectic mix of artists, as showcased by this year’s line-up featuring the likes of All Saints to the Libertines, it attracts thousands each year.

Dot to Dot:

A unique concept, this festival takes place over the last May bank holiday – but in three UK cities. Known for unearthing the country’s best new talent, Dot To Dot returns to Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham this year, with a day in each city. Expect lesser known artists but ones that are likely to take the music scene by storm in years to come –  London Grammar, Catfish and the Bottlemen and the 1975 have all played in previous years.

Sound City:

Liverpool is of course known as the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous bands, so it’s little surprise that it’s host to a music festival. This year it turns 10 years old and will see the likes of The Kooks and The Cribs as headliners over May Bank Holiday weekend. Held by Liverpool Docks, it’s a really iconic setting too.


A lesser known but equally as exciting city festival is Portsmouth’s Victorious which is held over August Bank Holiday Weekend. Set against the backdrop of the sea, the line-up is pretty impressive with Madness, Stereophonics and Elbow headlining. This one does offer offsite camping too, so you can experience the best of both worlds.


Finally, we couldn’t end without a nod to the ultimate metropolitan festival held in London. Hosted in Finsbury Park, Wireless has more of a hip-hop urban vibe and will see Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd and Skepta play to thousands this July. With high street retailers as sponsors and merchandise galore, this one’s definitely a bit more on the commercial side – but offers a good time nevertheless!

Lucre’s Trending Bucket List Destinations for Summer 2017, by Harriet Ball & Shannon Grimm-Berghaus

Nothing excites us more than packing our bags and whisking ourselves away to destinations new. Each year we read and hear about places that inspire us and our wish list grows ever longer. We asked around to find out the destinations and holiday experiences that are on the bucket list for the Lucre team this summer:

  1. Iceland

Iceland has well and truly made it on to bucket lists of globetrotters around the world. Since 2010, visitor numbers have increased from 490,000 to an expected 2.3 million visitors this year according to the Icelandic Tourism Board, with its most famous attraction being the elusive Northern Lights. The island is full of adventures and surprises on every corner. The west coast offers a beautiful 100km coastline which has been conserved as a national park. You can spot whales, see stunning waterfalls and walk trails connecting the inland with the seaside. One thing to note, you might want to brush up on your Icelandic etiquette before you depart; the tourist board has launched the “Iceland Academy” campaign to encourage clueless holidaymakers to visit more than just the tourist hotspots – one of them entitled ““How to Avoid Hot Tub Awkwardness”.

  1. Vancouver 

The weak pound may be making holidays more expensive, but the good news is that long haul flights have dropped by up to 18% since 2016, with the greatest price drop being Vancouver[1]. This makes the great metropolis of British Columbia sitting on the western coast of Canada more accessible than ever before. The city offers everything: A mixture of culture, amazing cuisine, lakes and beaches galore and of course, the mountains. In summer you can bike around the city and beaches or spot a Grisly at nearby Grouse Mountain. In winter, nearby Whistler offers great skiing for a perfect winter holiday.

  1. Santorini 

Santorini was one of the most trending holiday destinations in 2016 and it looks like its popularity has failed to waiver in 2017. And for a good reason! The island offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world over beaches and cliffs across the island’s blue and white rooftops. And how can you not fall in love with the thought of gazing out to sea with a glass of Retzina, a Greek salad and olives whilst watching an unforgettable sunset? The currency in Greece, of course, is the Euro but the country’s current economic troubles mean that it can still be a cheap holiday option, if you know where to look.

  1. Japan

The land of the rising sun has been on our bucket list for a while now; however, its newfound status as one of the world’s gastronomical centres has really cemented it as one of our most-coveted destinations. Sushi and Grill restaurants are on every corner, as are ramen bars – a gastronomical hit that has exploded in cities worldwide in the past year. If you like your wagyu steak or sashimi with a price tag that won’t make you faint, head to one of many stand-up restaurants frequented by value-conscious diners across Tokyo. If you don’t mind splashing the cash, the Japanese capital has a mind-blowing 226 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s unsurprising, then, that Saveur magazine named it the “world’s best food city” – we need to go.

  1. Lisbon

Noticed that your Instagram feed is filling up with snaps of Lisbon’s charming old town? That’s because this beautiful city is one of the trendiest places to take a city break in 2017. With amazing seafood and sunsets on rooftop bars, Lisbon offers warmth, culture and gastronomy aplenty, plus of course the opportunity for an array of stylish holiday snaps. It is cheap for solo travel, couples or group travellers and hotels are generally better value for money than most cities in Europe. We’ll be travelling in the off-season to ensure we get the best deal.




Holiday destinations right on our doorstep, by Shannon Grimm-Berghaus

With the cycling line up announced for the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire, all eyes are yet again on God’s own County, even more so as a holiday destination.

There are times we need a break from our daily routine and what can be better than a weekend or day away from the city? The only decision we have to make is where we would like to go. At Lucre we have a passion for travel and even more so, exploring what’s on the doorstep of our Leeds office.  We realised people travel to faraway destinations and forget we have a stunning countryside right in front of us!

Since Yorkshire was chosen for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in summer 2014, Yorkshire has attracted nearly 40 million visitors each year. And for good reason! Tourists from all over the world annually visit the beauty of Yorkshire, its culture, nature and history. But when is the best time to go? To be honest, we all know nobody comes to Yorkshire for the weather but summer is definitely the first choice to go for walks in the Dales, the Peaks or the Moors. If you’re craving some sea air the coastline with its old stone-built towns and stunning beaches are a great weekend getaway. In winter, though we’re glad to wave goodbye, we love to get cosy in ancient sandstone pubs and sit by the fireplace.

And what is there not to love about the county? We have a great drink and food culture. Yorkshire is a historic centre of brewing beers in England which is probably the reason our region has a decent pub around each corner, serving proper pints. And we love a Sunday roast with a Yorkshire pudding covered in gravy. On a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than a day trip to the coastline, some takeaway fish and chips and ice cream. We have the best tea in the world, too – at least from our perspective!

If you want to go shopping, visit Leeds city centre with its huge offering of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife and if you’re looking to experience the best Yorkshire ales, Hull and Sheffield have one of the biggest pub cultures in the North. But for a day out of the city for some fresh air, there are three national parks all within a couple of hour’s drive – the Lake District, the Moors and the Dales – and the coast with some stunning wildlife, nature and historical sites like Whitby Abbey.

Besides nature and food, Yorkshire offers some different cultural experiences. Hull is the 2017 City of Culture of course – but other places such as York offer an amazing cultural experience and with the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield & Yorkshire Sculpture Park there are some interesting art pieces to find. For someone who’s more into films, Leeds and Sheffield hold an annual film festival which is well worth checking out.

A tip from us locals is ‘layers’ – always pack waterproofs, an umbrella, some sun cream and sunglasses because you never know how the weather will turn out during the day. Yorkshire offers some perfect day trips or weekends away as it has so much to offer. It’s definitely worth exploring more often.



There’s No Place Like Home by Ben Frith

In its most recent ‘Best Places to Live’ report, The Times named Leeds as the best cultural place to live in the UK, beating cities like London, Bath and Manchester to come out on top!

We’re a little biased of course, but we tend to agree. Our home city is almost unrecognisable from what it was five years ago, with Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate being just a couple of brand new shiny additions to the skyline that have helped put Leeds on the map. It’s not all about shopping though – institutes like Opera North, City Varieties and the Northern Ballet have also been major players in making Leeds the cultural hotspot that it is today.

Earlier this year we discussed how staycations will be a big part of travel in 2017 and, whilst we love that Leeds has taken the cultural crown, we’re all for championing places that make the UK such a great destination to visit. So why not make this year the year you swap Copenhagen for Cambridge, Berlin for Brighton or Dalaman for Dorset?

Around the World in Four Must-Reads, by Bianca Matley

Travel can seem almost incomplete without a good book; lounging around the pool, following guidebooks or a novel to inspire a new trip. Before Instagram, books such as ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, ‘The Beach’, ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘On the Road’, were and are well known for acting as travel inspiration to the locations so inspiringly described on their pages, leaving us to discover even more through our own experiences.

To satiate the travel hungry and recognise World Book Day (2nd March), I’ve picked a ‘novel journey’ that has inspired my wanderlust travels or have bookmarked for the (hopefully) not-so-distant future.



The book – The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Set in the post-Spanish Civil War period, this story within a story sees a boy, Daniel, discover the history of his chosen book ‘The Shadow of The Wind’ from the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books. His attempts to find more by the author Julián Carax, lead him down a path to more than he could have imagined.

Must see:  Barcelona plays a huge part in this novel and the most noted thing to see is Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família. Ninety years after Gaudí’s death, the basilica is in its final stages of construction – over 180 years’ in creation, it’s a sight to be seen.



The book – The Old Man & The Sea, Ernest Hemingway

A short novel about the struggle of an old Cuban fisherman, Santiago, and his five-day battle with a giant marlin off the Gulf Stream after a long streak of bad luck fishing. It goes through the motions of defeat, struggle and determination.

Must See: Tipped as the number one holiday destination for 2017, Cuba’s streets are steeped in history and exceptionally lively so it’s easy to wander and become lost among the street food and live music, especially along The Malecón. You can also get adventurous and hike the highest point on the island – Pico Turquino. Or simply head to one of Hemingway’s two favourite watering holes in Havana, La Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, which still stand today, to sip a Mojito or two.



The book – The Mountain Shadow, Gregory David Roberts

Roberts, a former convicted bank robber in Australia who escaped Pentridge Prison in 1980, fled to India for ten years where he wrote the famous Shantaram. This sequel is a thriller that takes you through a mafia culture in Mumbai that’s changed since the events in the first book. The main character, Lin, can’t leave without his soul mate and caught in the clutches of a fatal promise.

Must See: Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is home to rock-cut temples on Gharapuri – or Elephanta Island – a Unesco World Heritage Site. An hour ferry trip out from the Gateway of India, marvel at the immense temple carvings through the caves.



The book –  A Room with a View, E.M. Forster

Between England and Italy, this classic novel depicts the struggles of a young woman, Lucy, and her modernised views against Victorian values. Her trip to Italy with her cousin opens her eyes to a wider world and their relaxed society compared to Victorian England and her love interests along the way.

Must See: With part of the book set in Florence, also known as the ‘the cradle of the Renaissance’, a visit to the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral should be top of the list. Take a walk up to the rooftop for the views at night and see a close-up of the intricately painted ceiling of the dome, then amble through the Piazza della Signoria, walking in Lucy’s footsteps.

Where Will the Oscars Take You? by Harriet Ball and Rhys Reynolds

Destinations to watch inspired by the big screen

In case you live under a rock, the 89th Academy Awards took place last night with the film world’s glitterati turning out for the culmination of what has been one of the most exciting and surprising awards seasons yet. Although a certain ‘Best Picture’ mis-hap seems to have overshadowed the event, rather than focus on that, our travel team are more interested in taking a look at the locations that played home to this year’s Oscar nominated pictures. Has La La Land inspired a mass exodus to the city of angels? Or is Miami, location for winning film Moonlight, on the bucket list of travellers this year?

La La Land – Los Angeles, California

If the opening scene of the movie, or the now iconic shot of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone doing a ‘Fred and Ginger’ above the sparkling lights of the city, doesn’t have you running for the Hollywood Hills, then there’s a small chance you may be dead inside… From the sun-kissed trendsetters of Venice Beach to the swanky hole-in-the-wall bars in West Hollywood, LA has become a must visit spot for travellers all over the world. The Getty centre is a must-do for all wishing to visit the star-studded city. J. Paul Getty Trust is a billion-dollar trust treasuring art and artefacts from around the globe. A collection of priceless pieces to rival The Louvre, it’s easy to immerse yourself for hours. Finish the day with a picnic on the grass, a glass of vino and the ever-enchanting scenery where blockbuster dreams are made. The city of angels will leave you dazed and dazzled dreaming of your name in lights. Plus, Norwegian has just released its schedule of super cheap trans-atlantic flights to destinations including LA so now there’s no excuse for putting off the dream!

Lion – Calcutta, India

The heart-wrenching story of an adopted boy who tries to find his family will make you love, laugh and cry for sure, but it will also have you yearning for the colourful climes of India. Set between Australia and India, the film is a fusion of two rich cultures. Food, history and cultural immersion are a few of the major draw cards for travellers lucky enough to be heading there. Dev Patel’s character Saroo starts life in the slums of Kolkata, the capital of India’s West Bengal state. Today, the city is known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. There is a saying in India ‘athithi devo bhava’ which means ‘the guest is God’. To get the full experience a home-stay is well recommended, given that Indian hospitality is second to none. Whether travelling for food, soul searching or the spectacular scenery, India needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Moonlight – Miami, Florida

Although this masterpiece, which (eventually!) triumphed at last night’s ceremony, is shot in an impoverished area of the city, Miami still shines. The beach plays a major role in leading character Chiron’s journey from boy to manhood. Virginia Key Beach, where Chiron learns to swim, is now a state park and trust, dedicated to preserving natural wildlife and endangered species. Elsewhere, the film’s stunning visuals capture sides of the city rarely visited by tourists. With soft focus shots of housing complexes or long character scenes set against a backdrop of rolling waves, you almost feel you’re there in the warm air. Miami is trending now, not just for its beaches but as centre for art, food and culture, plus with spring break approaching, it’s on Expedia’s top ten list of destinations for March and April. What are you waiting for?

Moana – Polynesian Islands

Ok, this one didn’t actually win, but you only have to look at the poster for Disney’s latest blockbuster, which was nominated for Best Animated Picture, to understand that you want to go wherever it was set. If you’re curious, it was inspired by a number of Polynesian Islands, one of them being Tetiaroa, which looks as paradisiacal as you’d expect. If you want to go there, you’ll have to wake Marlon Brando from the grave, because he actually owns it. Only joking. He did own, it but it is now home to the inconspicuously named The Brando, a new eco-friendly, ultra-luxurious resort. As we write this, on a breezy morning whilst gazing out at Hammersmith Broadway, we wonder why anyone would ever want to go there..?

To see the full list of winners, visit:

2017 in Travel, by Ben Frith

This time last year, Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Croatia were just some of the places tipped as the top destinations of 2016, and many of us at Lucre were lucky enough to spend at least a couple of days (or more, in some cases) exploring what these locations have to offer. But twelve months is a long time in the travel industry and with every New Year comes a host of new trends that will influence how, and where, consumers will be heading over the coming year.

As tech has become more integrated into our day to day lives, cities such as Barcelona, Oslo and Vienna have driven innovation to enhance visits to their cities. Think super-fast public transport, city-wide free WiFi and USB charging points on every street corner… this will become even more important over the next year, with tourism boards doing all they can to entice consumers to choose them over alternative options.

A recent survey has revealed that as many as 69% of UK travellers will be going it alone at some point this year, suggesting that solo travel will continue to rise in popularity in 2017. Last year saw a surge in women-only travel companies, perfect for consumers that are looking for enriching travel experiences. As pockets get tighter, we predict that ‘second cities’ will attract more visitors as cheaper alternatives to the capitals that are a bigger burden on budgets. Krakow and Marseille are just a couple of destinations that are already proving popular this year.

Speaking of budgets, we can’t ignore how the unpredictability of the pound will impact where the holidaymaker decides to visit either.  Rather than spending savings on a summer holiday abroad, many consumers will opt for a UK break instead. Tourism at home has already benefitted from things like ‘The Poldark Effect,’ and with everything from our coast to crown appearing on screen in programmes such as Victoria, Countryfile and Game of Thrones, consumers have all the more inspiration to holiday closer to home this year. That said, the uncertainty and lower levels of confidence that have become commonplace will also make it harder for consumers to commit far in advance, making way for last minute bookings instead.

So, where will 2017 take you?

Make Skegness great again, by Emma Baylis

A report this weekend revealing that seaside resort Skegness has been ranked as one of the world’s worst holiday destinations has touched our hearts here at Lucre.

Not only do a few of us recall happy memories spent on the beach (or at Butlins), but we think Skegness deserves the chance to redeem itself and perhaps just needs a helping hand in promoting its good points!

Take a look at the likes of Hull and Blackpool – both of which have suffered from negative press for years and are now starting to thrive again following huge investment in advertising, PR and marketing campaigns. Hull has especially hit the spotlight as the UK’s City of Culture for 2017 and was today announced to be BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend location. We particularly loved the use of their campaign hashtag #ForTheHullofIt which we’ve seen all over buses and billboards across Yorkshire.

We think with a bit of love and attention to improve its “rough around the edges” reputation, a hard-working communications campaign and tailored social outreach inspired by previously successful campaigns could do the world of good, and make Skegness great again! After all, isn’t the staycation on the rise?


Travel Tuesday: World Travel Market 2016, by Graham McKenzie

TravelMole’s very own Graham McKenzie tells us his experience of WTM this year…


Well, the World Travel Market is over for another year. The global jamboree that takes place at ExCeL was, for the most part, very normal with thousands and thousands of travel professionals crowding into the east end of London with their best business cards printed by Metal Kards Business Cards to exchange them and hopefully signatures on contracts. It’s difficult to imagine the enormity of the industry but WTM does give one at least a hint. I think I have networked with a lot of people but my numbers are pathetic when you see the multitudes entering into conversations about dealings of which I have not a clue.

It was for many, business as usual and many things remain untouched. Firstly the somewhat bizarre sight of destinations trying to recreate a bit of their homeland on enormous stands as if that might persuade people to come and visit them. I would like to know what percentage of the annual marketing budget goes into building a huge eagle or a cricket pavilion. The opportunity cost must be huge.

Transport remains a challenge as each morning thousands try to get on the Docklands Light railway when it has been designed to handle only hundreds. Queuing for food and drink is a constant irritation as are the people who wander aimlessly between stands seemingly looking for inspiration rather than having set appointments. Stamina is still high on the list of requirements to make the most of the event as the days stretch into long evenings and early mornings.

So what made the difference in 2016? Well this year, the days were reduced from three to four and quite frankly it was a lot better. The reduction in time I think focused people’s minds on arranging meetings and actually turning up. Traffic definitely reduced on the last afternoon as usual but the three day show made for a more structured, efficient and, in the end, productive show. Nobody missed Thursday at WTM.

The other major, almost cataclysmic, event was the USA Presidential election result. I have been at the show after major disasters, terrorism atrocities and financial meltdowns but I have never seen such a reaction to a global event as we did on the morning of Wednesday WTM 2016. For the first two hours the majority of the USA exhibition stands were empty, nobody wanted to be quoted on the subject and some were almost in tears about the result. Travel is, as we know a very robust industry and after a while the reality had set in, chins were up and a relative sense of normality had returned.

Time will tell as to the positive or otherwise effect of a Trump presidency on the travel industry but one thing I think is for sure is that this time next year the travel industry from around the world will again gather in London to discuss, debate, negotiate and hopefully conduct business as usual.

World Travel Market, by Philippa Barker


The World Travel Market is the go-to B2B travel event of the year, for all companies, be it large or small. Held at London Excel from the 7th – 9th November, the event sees thousands flock to the extensive exhibition venue to explore all there is to know on the travel industry, from giant palm trees to pop-up Costa Rican jungles to henna tattoos, this years extravaganza certainly didn’t disappoint.WTM 7

With close to 5,000 exhibitors at this years show, standard was high when it came to an out-of-the bag stand, with attendees offering their careful critique – New York ‘apparently lacking creativity for the design capital of the world.’ Denmark hired the help of Troll dolls to publicise their offering, hooking onto the recent Dreamworks creation, whilst car hire company, Sixt, installed a bright orange spinning globe to catch attention.


Smells of exotic food filled the expansive space and people in native costumer roamed the stalls and for a small minute my imagination whisked me away to the seas of Kerala.

The road to Rio – the impact of the 2016 Olympic Games


Recently the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors.

As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, making sure we’re sharing the latest insights and delivering campaigns with real impact.

Ideas and Insight

As part of this, our regular I&I events will feature expert panels discussing the issues which will affect consumer behaviour, create trends and be written about by media, making sure we stay ahead of the pack.

The Rio Olympics 2016 was the subject of our first event, held at Brazilian bar Floripa in Shoreditch. Including brand and marketing managers, designers, journalists and writers, our 12 experts brought experience and expertise from across home and lifestyle, food and drink, travel and creative thinking.

Influencing everything from colour palettes to fast food


Discussions ranged from how the Olympic Games will influence our paint choices to what will be the next fast food trend to hit the high street (office delivery of real coconut water, anyone?). It was a glimpse of how w,e as consumers, want to be communicated with and how brands can (and will) explore that.


We’ve put together a short film of the event to give you an idea of what happened and some of our predicted insights can be found in more depth here.

If you are interested in hearing more about I&I or would like to take part in a future event, please email or call 0113 243 1117 to be added to our mailing list.

New York, New York – travel to the Big Apple



. Jet2CityBreaks New York - Picture date Thursday 18 February, 2016 Photo credit should read: Jonathan Pow/

We had enormous fun last week setting up a series of frankly fantastic photo-shoots for Jet2CityBreaksaround the airline’s exciting announcement that its New York breaks were back by popular demand for winter 2016.

And – yes there’s more – this year there are special New Year breaks… we don’t know about you, but here at Lucre Towers we reckon there can’t be many places that would best a New Year’s Eve spent in the Big Apple!   Shopping? Check. Wining and dining? Check. Watching the world famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square? Check, check, and check again, just take us there! Everything you need to know is on the website so hop on over there for details.

Now we just have to see if we can keep the rather wonderful replica Statue of Liberty in our offices (no dice on the yellow taxi, alas).